Human rights group Karapatan strongly condemns the Duterte regime’s continuing attacks directed against rights activists as illegal arrests and various human rights violations have intensified in the string of the government’s relentless crackdown.
“Since October started, at least 13 human rights defenders were illegally arrested and charged with trumped-up charges. There is an orchestrated attempt, led by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), to criminalize and delegitimize the work of human rights defenders. The NTF, since its inception in December 2018, has incessantly targeted human rights defenders, and have blurred the distinction between armed combatants and civilians. To the eyes of these bloodthirsty beasts and ruthless criminals, human rights defense is a crime. As a State policy, this has severe implications on the ground as human rights workers continue to be subjected to a wide range of human rights violations, particularly killings, illegal arrests, torture, and harassment,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General said.