Human Rights Day marked early by KARAPATAN

Hundreds of human rights workers and activists held separate demonstrations in downtown Manila and in front of the Philippine military headquarters today before marching to historic Mendiola Bridge. True to form, the fascist regime stopped the marchers at the corner of Claro M. Recto and Morayta streets, a few blocks from Mendiola.

Dec. 10, international human rights day, falls on a Sunday this 2006. KARAPATAN has seen it fit to hold a commemorative protest action today, Friday, in order to reach more people in the streets.

Today’s protests condemned the immoral and undemocratic plan to convene a Constituent Assembly to propose changes to the Constitution, without any public consultations and hearings. The leaders said it was symptomatic of the political persecution under the an ascendant fascist dictatorship under Arroyo and the worst trapos who are behind Con-Ass.

Here are pictures from AP and Reuters via Yahoo! News featuring KARAPATAN secretary-general Marie Hilao Enriquez (first photo), League of Filipino Students chair Vencer Crisostomo (second photo), and KARAPATAN-Southern Tagalog leaders and supporters rallying in front of the military headquarters in Quezon City.

As of today, Dec. 8, KARAPATAN has documented 797 victims of extrajudicial killings, summary executions, massacres and political slays. They come mainly from organizations of peasants, workers, youth, professionals, partylists and communities tagged by the military as “communist sympathizers”.

Up to now, not one perpetrator or mastermind has ever been convicted for their dastardly crimes. Meanwhile, the Arroyo government pursues its all-out war against the Left through Operation Plan Bantay Laya, which makes no distinctions between armed combatants in the countryside and unarmed activists in the cities.

Crispin Beltran, Partylist Member of Congress for Anakpawis, remains under police custody since he was illegally arrested on Feb. 25, 2006. More trumped-up charges against mass leaders and the Batasan 5 group of partylist legislators have been filed by the police and the military in furtherance of the policy of political persecution of the Left and other critics of the Arroyo regime.

No wonder Mrs. Arroyo is reaping global outrage for human rights abuses.

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