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Petition: Drop all fabricated charges against Cocoy Tulawie!

On July 20, IPON has started a petition calling to “Drop all fabricated charges against human rights defender Temogen »Cocoy« Tulawie!”. It was exactly two years ago that Cocoy Tulawie was acquitted of the first charges he was facing. Sadly, there was no reason to commemorate this second anniversary since Cocoy Tulawie is yet again confronted with another fabricated charge placed against him. Therefore, IPON addresses all responsible state authorities to ensure justice for Cocoy Tulawie and to actively take a stand against the criminalization of human rights defenders in the Philippines.

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PRESSEMITTEILUNG: Philippinischem Menschenrechtsaktivisten Cocoy Tulawie droht wegen konstruierter Anklage erneut das Gefängnis

Berlin. Am 10. Mai 2017 wurde ein Haftbefehl gegen den philippinischen Friedens- und Menschenrechtsaktivisten Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie ausgestellt.

Tulawie wird beschuldigt, Drahtzieher hinter der Entführung des deutschen Journalisten Andreas Lorenz durch die terroristische Gruppe Abu Sayyaf zu sein. Im Jahr 2000 wurde Lorenz im Rahmen seiner Berichterstattung für das Nachrichtenmagazin Spiegel über die Entführung der deutschen Wallert-Familie auf der malaysischen Urlaubsinsel Sipadan selbst durch die Abu Sayyaf entführt. Tulawie spielte in diesem Zusammenhang eine wichtige Rolle bei den Freilassungsverhandlungen sowie bei der Versorgung der Geiseln mit Verpflegung und Medikamenten.

Die Anklage wurde von der philippinischen Staatsanwältin Annie Marie Pierreangeli P. Ledesma eingereicht, nachdem Tulawie eine formale Beschwerde gegen sie wegen schwerwiegendem Amtsmissbrauch bei der philippinischen Regierung vorgebracht hatte.

Der ehemalige Auslandschef des Spiegels, Olaf Ihlau, der die Entführung Lorenz‘ journalistisch begleitet hatte, bezeugt, dass „die Anschuldigung, dass Cocoy Lorenz entführt habe, absurd ist“. Und der amerikanische Fotojournalist David G. McIntyre schreibt in seiner Zeugenaussage, dass „Cocoy da war, um uns [die Journalisten, Anm. IPON] zu helfen, die Informationen zu verifizieren, den Kontakt zu den Geiseln herzustellen und uns dabei zu unterstützen, Güter und Nachrichten zu den Geiseln zu bringen“.

Noch im Oktober letzten Jahres begleitete Tulawie die Reise des Bundestagsabgeordneten und Mitglied des Menschenrechtsausschusses Martin Patzelt (CDU) in die Philippinen. In diesem Rahmen traf Patzelt u.a. auch Senatorin und Regierungskritikerin Leila de Lima, die seit Februar aufgrund von politisch motivierten Anklagen in Untersuchungshaft sitzt.

„Es ist zu einfach, die philippinische Justiz zu missbrauchen, um politische Opposition mundtot zu machen. Menschen wie Tulawie sollten für ihre Arbeit ausgezeichnet werden; stattdessen werden sie hinter Gittern gebracht!“, sagt Dominik Hammann, Landeskoordinator der deutschen Menschenrechtsorganisation International Peace Observers Network (IPON).

IPON ist äußerst besorgt über die erneute, konstruierte Anklage gegen Tulawie und appelliert an die philippinische Regierung, diese mit sofortiger Wirkung fallen zu lassen!

Temogen „Cocoy“ Tulawie ist ein philippinischer Menschenrechtsaktivist aus der südlichen Provinz Sulu, Leiter des regionalen Büros des Consorti17264105_10203079430822706_3945175848846408376_num of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) und Gründer der lokalen Menschenrechtsorganisation Bawgbug. Wegen seines Einsatzes für Menschenrechte wurde Tulawie schon zuvor des Terrorismus bezichtigt und verbrachte zwischen 2012 und 2015 mehr als drei Jahre unschuldig im Gefängnis.
Spätere Eingeständnisse von Abu Sayyaf-Kämpfern, von staatlichen Akteuren zur Falschaussage gegen Tulawie gezwungen worden zu sein, offenbaren das Ziel der Anklagen, Tulawies politisches Engagement zu einem Ende zu bringen.

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“We are not rebels. He had given us hope that we can dream on and get the land we seek peacefully”

Our friend and partner Evangeline Silva on the killing of Arnel Figueroa, a local farmer leader, who was shot by a member of the “Blue Guards” of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) on Tuesday at Yulo King Ranch, Coron.

IPON appeals to the Philippine government to respect, protect and fulfill human rights of land rights defenders!

IPON Coordinator and Martin Patzelt in the House of Representatives while human rights defenders could speak up for their cases.

Two days ago, IPON project coordinator Dominik Hammann and Mr. Patzelt from the German Parliament had the chance to visit the House of Representatives and the Senate in Manila.

At the Congress they had the chance to meet congresswoman Cheryl Deloso-Montalla and other representatives of the of the Human Rights Committee in order to discuss the effects of the possible ratification of the House Bill Number 1 („Restoration of the Death Penalty) and House Bill Number 2 („Lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility“) in regards of human rights.

Later on Mr. Patzelt and Dominik Hamman also had the chance to meet the senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros to talk about the importance of independant human rights advocacy and to discuss the latest alarming developments in regards to President Duterte’s War on Drugs and Extrajudicial killings.

On the same day our partner Evangeline Silva had to attend a court hearing in Calauan where she could speak up for her case and her work as human rights defender. The hearing was also attended by Aileen Chua, member of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) and accompanied by human rights defender Zara Alvarez and IPON members.

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On the following day,  Mr. Patzelt was able to attend a meeting in the Foreign Ministry in Manila in order to discuss the current human rights situation in the Philippines.

Our partners Cocoy Tulawie and Maryann had the chance to visit the Supreme Court in order to do some follow ups.

Last but not least the rest of the participants of our Delegation Trip attended a protest walk in Manila which was organized by farmers and Indigineous People (IP) from Mindananao.

The aim of the protest walk was to claim the right of the farmers and the IPs in terms of land redistribution, the demilitarisation of regions, the restitution of ancestral land and the non-interference of foreign investors in the mining sector.

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The second half of our delegation trip begins:

Another productive day for the IPON-Delegation Trip and its partners. Today we had the chance to meet with the Assistant Secretary Elmer Distor of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in order to discuss current human rights violations in Negros.

Our partners Zara Alvarez, Clarizza Singson Dagatan from KARAPATAN and Evangeline Silva, as well as the German politican Martin Patzelt and various members of IPON had the chance to engage into an open dialogue with the objective to work cooperatively on the implementation of the Agrarian Reform.

Similar productive debates were held on a later occasion at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with Gina Lopez who actively discussed with our partners future strategies to strengthen human rights cases.

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Another Big day during the Delegation Trip: IPON at the round table

Yesterday we had the chance to participate at a round table which was hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Manila.
Human rights defenders (HRD) from various sectors had the chance to present their cases and to discuss the current human rights situation in the Philippines.
A focal point in the discussion at the round table concerned the question which challenges human rights defenders are facing under the new administration of president Duterte.

After these constructive debates and with the newly gained impressions Mr. Patzelt and Mr. Hasper from the German Embassy attended a meeting with the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Ismael Sueno at the Ministry of the Interior.

The day ended with a visit of our partners Zara Alvarez, Cucoy Tulawie and Evangeline Silva at the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
The talks with the chairman of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) Chito Gascon concentrated on the question how the CHR and also German politics can effectively approach the criminalization of HRD and contribute to a positive change.

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights Medicalactiongroup Mag Commission on Human Rights Philippines Bahay Tuluyan Terre des hommes Germany in Southeast Asia

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Let the trip Begin: Finally the yearly delegation trip has started

As every year, IPON has organized an annual Delegation Trip which started two days ago. In the late hours of Friday evening, Martin Patzelt, member of the German parliament and special rapporteur of Southeast Asia for the parliamentary committee for human rights, arrived in Metro Manila. From October 8th until October 16th, Mr. Patzelt takes part in our annual delegation trip to meet different Filipino key players regarding the matters of human rights. During this week, Mr. Patzelt will be accompanied by three of our partners. This special occasion gives the Human Rights defenders the opportunity to share their personal experiences with Mr. Patzelt as well as to speak up for their cases in official meetings with central governmental stakeholders. But there is still a lot to do, as Dominik, our country coordinator, explains in the video below.  https://www.facebook.com/ipon.philippines/videos/1458362640847648/

While the preparations went on in Manila, two IPON observers had the chance to introduce Mr. Patzelt to Evangeline Silva who is the elected national president of the farmworker organization “Pesante” and a longtime human rights activist.

The participant of the delegation trip had the chance to visit Evangeline Silva in her home province Laguna in order to dicuss her work as political activist and the nature of the fabricated trumped up charges she is facing because of her work.

The visit included meetings with official state actors and counterplayers of her legal processes. Evangeline Silva had the chance to speak up for her work as a human right activist and for her own case.

For more information on Evangeline Silva’s case click here:

https://iponphilippinesblog.wordpress.com/…/the-case-of-ev…/


We are looking forward to an exciting time as well as to more enriching encounters.

 

 

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10 Years IPON: Click through the Gallery