Donnerstag, 26. November 2009

Pressemitteilung Amnesty International zum Massaker in den Philippinen

November 26th 2009
Philippines: Witness protection needed to ensure justice for victims of massacre

The Philippine government must urgently ensure that witnesses are protected following the massacre of at least 57 people in Maguindanao province and safeguard vital forensic evidence to ensure those responsible are brought to justice, said Amnesty International.

Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., a member of the powerful Ampatuan family that has dominated local politics in Maguindanao province in the country’s restive Mindanao region, is now under arrest and could face multiple murder charges. He has denied involvement.

“One of the major stumbling blocks to justice for human rights violations in the Philippines has been the intimidation of witnesses, at times accompanied by bribes or other inducements,” said Donna Guest, Amnesty International’s deputy Asia-Pacific director.

“Given the Ampatuan family’s history of using private militias to maintain their dominance in Maguindanao, there is every reason to fear for the safety of witnesses and the protection of evidence.”

Amnesty International pointed out that the inability of Philippines investigators to gather and process forensic and circumstantial evidence in prosecutions has led to an overreliance on eyewitness testimony.

Media footage from the scene of the massacre shows little evidence of proper collection of forensic evidence.

“The Philippine government has responded with encouraging speed and seriousness to this incident so far but they must demonstrate that they will put in place proper mechanisms to ensure there is transparent, credible accountability,” Guest said.

“This case, which has shocked the country and the world, cannot end in impunity as the vast majority of cases of political killings have in the past.”

Amnesty International called on the government of the Philippines to invite assistance from the international community in conducting the technical aspects of this investigation.

The European Union and the Philippine government have recently signed an agreement to improve the quality of investigations and prosecutions of extrajudicial executions in the Philippines.

Most witnesses are reported to lack confidence in the current witness protection program, and fear that, given prolonged delays in criminal proceedings, it will not be able to offer protection to them or their families which may be needed to extend over a number of years.

In conjunction with lack of confidence in the impartiality of the police, fear of reprisals and a lack of an effective witness protection program, most investigations remain ineffective and fail to lead to the identification, arrest, trial and conviction of the perpetrators.

Public Document
For more information please contact Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email:
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

Ein sehr guter Beitrag zum Massaker auf den Philippinen

Video ZDF, Auslandsjournal, vom 25.11.2009

Dienstag, 24. November 2009

46 Tote bei dem Massaker auf den Philippinen

46 Tote, ein furchtbares Massaker
Die Frage ist: Warum hat die Regierung nicht schon lange die Privatarmeen entwaffnet und das Verbot durchgesetzt. Da nützt auch kein Ausnahmezustand.

Montag, 23. November 2009

Pressemitteilung von Amnesty International zum 21-fachen politischen Mord in Maguindanao

November 23rd 2009
Philippines: Abduction and killings of journalists and politicians must be investigated
Amnesty International condemns the killings of at least 21 civilians, including journalists and members of a politician’s family, in the southern Philippines province of Maguindanao, the first reported killings linked to national elections to be held in May 2010.
A group of about 45 people were ambushed and abducted by about 100 armed men, according to reports. The military recovered the bodies of 13 women and eight men—some of them mutilated.
“These killings underline the danger facing civilians in the run up to the national elections. The authorities must immediately launch an independent and effective investigation into these murders and ensure that they do all they can to prevent killings and other violence,” said Donna Guest, Deputy Asia Pacific Director, Amnesty
The sister and the wife of Esmael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town, were on their way to file his certificate of candidacy as provincial governor when they were attacked. The province of Maguindanao witnessed widespread election violence during previous polls.
Amnesty International has been told that at least 12 journalists were part of the group who were targeted. It is not known how many journalists were killed.
Private armies, often employed by rich and politically influential families in Mindanao, have committed abuses with impunity.
“The government must prohibit and disband private armies and paramilitary forces immediately. The authorities should also establish clear standards on human rights protection and ensure their implementation, particularly during the election period when politically-motivated killings could increase.” said Donna Guest.

For more information please contact Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
or email:
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK