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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Karapatan: 'We're being harassed'


HUMAN rights group Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region decried the alleged attempt of armed men to barge in its office at Mt. Apo Road in Davao City on Monday evening, saying it is a form of harassment against human rights defenders.

Karapatan-SMR secretary general Hanimay Suazo told Sun.Star Davao in an interview that three armed men allegedly tried to trespass their office around 8 p.m.

She said that prior to the trespassing attempt, the three armed men were allegedly trailing Eduardo Regidor, who is the acting chairperson of the Paquibato District Peasants Alliance taking refuge at the Karapatan office.

When Regidor noticed that the three men were following him, he then went inside the Karapatan office while the armed men allegedly stayed in a house beside the office.

But shortly after Regidor went inside the house, the armed men allegedly tried to barge in. One of them was seen banging on the gate while the two allegedly tried to climb over the wall.

The trespassing attempt was then averted when one of the staff members called for police assistance.

Suazo said their suspicion points out to agents of the state, claiming there are no other people they could accuse since they are the ones directly affected by the actions of human rights defenders.

She also pointed out that Regidor has a pending human rights violation complaint against the military relating to the establishment of army camps at communities in Paquibato District.

"Kaning si Eduardo ug uban pang mga leaders gina-surveillance ug gina-vilify or gina red-tag sila kun okay supporters sila. Ginakondena sa Karapatan ang harassment nga gibuhat sa amoa. This is a blatant attack on human rights defenders and victims of human rights violation," Suazo said.

She added that on Tuesday, the Commission on Human Rights-Davao dispatched investigators at the office of Karapatan.

The Karapatan-SMR top official also called for a deeper and speedy investigation to identify the suspects who have tried to intrude their office.


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