Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An expression of concern for the just resolution of the Morong 43 case and the cases of 300 other political prisoners

UN-accredited human rights lawyers group notes commitments of Philippine Government under international conventions

We are officers and members of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the world’s oldest and biggest organization of human rights lawyers in the world with members in 90 countries. The IADL has NGO consultative status with the UN ECOSOC and UNICEF and engages in the UN sessions in Geneva, New York and Vienna.

Since our founding in 1946 in Paris, we have participated in and supported the struggles against violations of human rights of peoples and individuals and threats to international peace and security and other legal issues under international law. From inception, IADL has throughout the globe protested racism, colonialism, and economic and political injustice wherever they interfere with legal and human rights.

We are in the Philippines to attend the fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia-Pacific (COLAP V) which will be held on September 18 and 19, to be attended by around 300 lawyers from 23 countries We are taking this occasion to meet with our esteemed colleague, Atty. Leila de Lima, the Philippine Secretary of Justice, to express our deep concern about the plight of the 43 health workers arrested in Morong, Rizal last February 6. We believe that based on the established facts and the credible and consistent reports, some universal legal precepts were violated in their arrest, search, and continued detention. We wish to register our alarm over reports of their torture and inhumane treatment in the hands of Philippine state forces.

IADL has decided to take the Morong 43 case, and necessarily, the cases of 300 or so political detainees (mostly arrested under the Gloria Arroyo administration), as an international campaign. We are here to respectfully urge the new Philippine government to faithfully heed its commitments under international conventions on human rights. We look forward to the just and speedy resolution of the cases of the Morong 43 and the other political prisoners.

Lastly, we wish to express our appreciation to Secretary De Lima for kindly agreeing to meet with us at such short notice. We are heartened that a lawyer that works so hard for human rights has been appointed as your country’s Justice Secretary and we remain hopeful that she will remain steadfast and uncompromising as when she was head of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights.#
Ref: Atty. Edre U. Olalia

Bureau Member
International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Landline/Mobile No.: 9206660 / 09175113373

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Justice for the 43!