From: PhilConcerns [mailto:philconcerns-bounces@humanrightsphilippines.net] On Behalf Of International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Sent: Sunday, 15 September 2013 1:39 a.m.
To: philconcerns@humanrightsphilippines.net
Subject: [PhilConcerns] ICHRP condemns detention of Canadian student in Manila , demands her immediate release

Dear Friends,
Please find below and attached the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines ‘ statement on the unjust detention of Kim Chatillon-Meunier in Bicutan, Taguig , Philippines . Also attached herewith are some other statements and/or letters from ICHRP member and friendly organizations.

[Please feel free to use the attached template letter (Word file) for your own letter addressed to Philippine authorities; kindly send us a copy of your letter either here or at ichrp2013@gmail.com address.]

In solidarity,
Angie M. Gonzales
Coordinator
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
—–
PRESS STATEMENT

International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
14 September 2013
ICHRP condemns detention of Canadian student in Manila, demands her immediate release

We, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, express outrage at the government of President Benigno S. Aquino III for not allowing Kim Chatillon-Meunier to board her plane in Manila bound for Hong Kong last night, 13 September, and worse, for putting her in jail based on spurious charges. Kim was reportedly barred from taking her flight by officials of the Bureau of Immigration, claiming that her name is on a so-called “watchlist” and that she participated in a protest rally against the 21 July State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President BS Aquino. We are deeply alarmed that a certain Commissioner Siegfred Mison allegedly ordered her detention in Bicutan, Taguig, to face “intelligence personnel”.

Kim is a student of the University of Montreal doing internship work with a Philippine-based NGO, joining in the research of the reproductive health conditions of women in communities in Tondo, Manila . Our members in Canada inform us that her program at the university is supported by no less than the Canadian government. She also participated in the recently-concluded International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines in July, and joined the international solidarity and humanitarian mission in Quezon Province prior to the conference. She was able to observe the program of the rally during the SONA speech of Philippine President Aquino.

We, in the ICHRP are gravely concerned about the growing repression of the Aquino government being committed against its own citizens, and now increasingly against friends of the Filipino people around the world. We call on officials of the Bureau of Immigration to respect the rights of Kim Chatillon-Meunier. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Kim Chatillon-Meunier and call on the Aquino government to allow her to leave the Philippines .
We call on our member organizations and friends in Canada to communicate our concerns with the Canadian government and request support for Kim’s immediate release. We call on our member organizations around the world to contact Philippine embassies in their respective countries, calling for the immediate release of Kim from detention and for her safe departure from Manila.#

References:

Canon Barry Naylor
Chairperson, Global Council, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
Office: +44 (0) 116 261 5371
Mobile : +44 (0) 775 785 3621

Kelti Cameron
Member, Global Council, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP)
Email: ochrp.ottawa@gmail.com
mobile: +1 (0)6132527170

——

Bayan Canada condemns detention of Quebec Student in the Philippines

Statement September 13, 2013

Bayan Canada condemns in the strongest terms the unwarranted detention by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (PBI) in Manila of Quebec student, Kim Chatillon-Meunier. We demand that Ms Chatillon-Meunier be released immediately. According to sources, the PBI has detained Kim in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig after she was accosted by immigration officials while trying to board her flight today for Hong Kong .  We were told that Kim was placed on a “watch-list” and is being held for allegedly participating in a rally against President Aquino’s State of Nation Address (SONA) back in July.

Kim was primarily in the Philippines for her internship to meet the requirements for the International Studies Program of the University of Montreal .  During her stay in the Philippines she participated, along with trade unionists, church officials, filmmakers and human rights activists that made up a large Canadian delegation to the International Conference on Human Rights in the Philippines held in Quezon City last July.  She joined in the research and documentation of the reproductive health conditions of women in the poverty stricken communities in Tondo, Manila .  Kim observed a program consisting of public speeches and cultural presentations during the SONA rally.

The rally itself, which denounced Aquino’s human rights record and economic policies, began peacefully but ended in clashes between hundreds of police in riot gear and thousands of protesters, resulting in a few arrests and injuries.  There were dozens of foreigners attending the rally in solidarity with the protesters, including a Dutch national, Thomas Van Beersum, who was also detained by immigration officials at the airport in August.

Bayan Canada denounces the blatant harassment and rights violations of Kim Chatillon-Meunier.  They violate the fundamental right of all people to freedom of expression and her right to support human rights issues in the Philippines .  The keeping of a blacklist/watch-list of international human rights activists in the Philippines by the Bureau of Immigration are tools for harassment and suppression of fundamental rights.  It is meant to instill fear and deter other internationalists from giving their support to the Filipino people’s struggle for genuine democracy and freedom in the Philippines .

While Canada has shown more concern about protecting Canadian mining interests in the Philippines , it must now show concern about its own citizens abroad by demanding the immediate release of Kim Chatillon-Meunier and an end to the climate of impunity in the Philippines .  We call on Canadian officials to pressure the Aquino government to immediately release Kim and to send a strong statement of condemnation for this abuse and harassment of a Quebec student in the hands of Philippine officials.

We are infuriated that the same people who wish to observe the human rights situation in the Philippines have now become human rights victims of the reactionary Aquino administration themselves.  While the Aquino regime cow-tows to US dictates in the region and opens up the country for the permanent stationing of US military bases, he now makes it a policy and fans the flames of ultra-nationalism to justify the suppression of international human rights supporters of the Filipino people who are visiting the Philippines to show their solidarity.

Bayan Canada member organizations across Canada are encouraged to hold protest actions denouncing the Aquino regime’s repression of international human rights activists in the Philippines and to demand for the immediate release of Kim Chatillon-Meunier.

Ref: Joey Calugay, Bayan Canada , bayan.canada.noc@gmail.com