IADL President Jeanne Mirer said the attacks on Filipino lawyers are in violation of international law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the Convention against Torture and even of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, among others.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – A global group of lawyers said it will submit complaints against Philippine government officials before international human rights bodies over red-tagging.
In a resolution adopted Feb. 7, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) expressed their extreme concern and deplored the continued red baiting of its national affiliate, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) by government officials and agencies.
IADL President Jeanne Mirer said that red-tagging placed their colleagues as well as many members of the society in peril as many of them have been killed, put under surveillance, harassed, threatened, slandered, falsely charged and imprisoned.
Mirer said the attacks on Filipino lawyers are in violation of international law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the Convention against Torture and even of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, among others.
Thus, IADL has resolved to file complaints before the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteurs on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Human Rights Defenders, Human Rights while countering Terrorism, and others.
The group will also make representations or engagements on this issue, or support independent or parallel initiatives with the UN Human Rights Council, the US Congress, the European Parliament and the like and ask national associations as well as other international lawyers, lawyers organizations and bar associations to do the same.
IADL also said it will study seriously the option of seeking application of the 2012 Magnitsky sanctions in the U.S. and its counterpart 2020 global human rights sanction by the European Union to be imposed on Philippine officials including Gen. Antonio Parlade and Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, and other officials of the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The group also resolved to submit a communication with the International Criminal Court on the attacks against Filipino lawyers to supplement the pending communications against President Rodrigo Duterte, and also to seek an audience with the Office of the Prosecutor in this regard.
IADL will also prepare suits in different national courts applying universal jurisdiction on applicable international conventions on torture and the like against Parlade, Badoy and other individuals and entities as may be warranted by the circumstances.
Mirer said the NUPL members have been viciously and relentlessly labeled as “communists,” “communist front,” “terrorists,” “terrorist sympathizers,” “bloodsuckers,” “high-ranking members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, “recruiters for the New People’s Army” and the like.
“They have even been baselessly accused of funneling funds to the underground and falsely accused of charging professional fees contrary to their absolute mandate as purely pro bono and pro deo human rights and public interest lawyers,” Mirer said.
She cited in particular the murder of Benjamin Ramos and “the precarious situation of many NUPL members including key leaders who are also part of the IADL leadership.”