ESCR-Net
Wed 26/08/2020 15:04

I am writing to let you know that ESCR-Net recently sent out an urgent appeal expressing our outrage at the recent killings of two human rights defenders connected to ESCR-Net member, Karapatan, in the Philippines. You can read the letter here.

On 24 August 2020, ESCR-Net sent a collective letter to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines expressing our deep outrage at the killings of Zara Alvarez and Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis in the timespan of one week.

Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis was co-founder of Karapatan and a human rights activist for social and economic justice in the Philippines, particularly working on land reform to benefit the rural poor. Ka Randy was killed on 10 August 2020.

Zara Alvarez was a longtime human rights activist and former campaign and education director of Karapatan. Zara was killed on 17 August.

Both had been labelled as terrorists by the government and had previously served prison sentences for the human rights work.

These attacks happen in a context of extreme hostility towards human rights defenders in the Philippines, which has been condemned by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and several UN Special Rapporteurs earlier this year.

The letter calls on the government of the Philippines to:

Stop the killings of human rights defenders.
Conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations into the killings of Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis and Zara Alvarez. Those responsible must be held accountable.
Grant the court petition for legal protection by Karapatan.
Ensure the physical and mental integrity of human rights defenders in the Philippines.
End the hostile rhetoric and defamation campaigns against human rights defenders by the authorities including putting an end to “red tagging” of human rights defenders.
Put an end to criminalization of human rights defenders for their legitimate human rights activism.
Rescind the Anti-Terror Act.
Support an international, independent investigation of human rights violations in the Philippines as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and several UN Special Procedures mandate holders.

Take action
Please consider taking one or both of the following actions:

1. Send the letter to the Philippine embassy or consulate in your country:

We want to invite ESCR-Net members to support this collective action by sending the letter to Philippine Embassies or Consulates in your country. You can find a list of embassies and consulates in this link: https://www.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/2013-03-21-05-48-17 (only in English).

You can download the letter here: https://www.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/2013-03-21-05-48-17 (cut and paste in your browser)

2. Use social media to amplify the letter: https://escr-net.cividesk.com/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=14985&qid=388218 (cut and paste in your browser)

Please also support us in creating visibility around this by tweeting your support and solidarity with Karapatan.

You can either develop your own tweet using the hashtag #StopTheKillingsPH and tagging @karapatan or you can use the suggested tweets below:

We stand in solidarity with @karapatan. Justice for Zara, Ka Randy and the other killed #HRDs in the #Philippines. #StopTheKillingsPH https://bit.ly/2YxtL0n (cut and paste in your browser)

We call on @RRD_Davao to #StopTheKillingsPH. Justice for Zara and Ka Randy. Solidarity with @karaptan https://bit.ly/2YxtL0n

We stand with @karapatan and say #StopTheKillingsPH & #JunkTheTerrorLaw. @RRD_Davao https://bit.ly/2YxtL0n

Feel free to also tag @ESCRNet.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

In Solidarity,

Ruben