Since February 2005 at least ten lawyers and at least one judge were murdered in the Philippines. Many others are intimidated daily, threatened and are being followed. Most murders are committed by men on a motorcycle who shoot their defenceless victim in the back while driving by.
Not one single of these murders on lawyers and judges in the last five year was solved. The targets have one and the same characteristic: they are human rights lawyers and critical judges that have been using their legal knowledge in defending victims of land expropriations, the massive militarisation and the living conditions of the millions of poor in the country.
Since the government of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came into power five years ago already 700 activists were murdered in a similar manner: journalists, trade unionists, priests, farmer’s leaders, human rights activists and lawyers.
The involvement of the military in these killings is clear.
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers has set up a solidarity campaign with the lawyers and judges under threat in the Philippines and has taken or participated in several initiatives.
Background documents on the persecution of lawyers in the Philippines
- Probing Political Persecution, Repression & Human Rights Violations in the Philippines
- Report International Fact Finding Mission 2006Report International Fact Finding Mission 2006.pdf