HUMAN rights advocates will launch “iDefend Mindanaw’ here today. It is a platform for empowering victims of human rights violations.
“The coming together of ‘iDefend Mindanaw’ is historical for the human rights community in Mindanao as at least 20 human rights organizations gathered and commit to further strengthen partnership and work together to promote human dignity,” Ritz Lee Santos III, executive director of Balaod Mindanaw told Gold Star Daily yesterday.
iDefend is a human rights movement that provides a platform to empower the people to resist state repression and to address its root causes with the vision of establishing rights-based governance and sustainable development.
“We wish to consolidate the interventions of human rights organizations here in Mindanao through iDefend. Expect that there will be a concerted actions and resistance here in Mindanaw,” said Budid Carlos, spokesperson of iDefend.
Rose Trajano, secretary general of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, said their discussion highlighted the human rights issues in Mindanao including displacement of farmers and the lumad due to militarization and mining, threats and harassments against human rights defenders, and others.
Meanwhile, aside from these issues, Trajano added that human rights defenders are being threatened and harassed.
“It is alarming that dissent nowadays can cost threats to life and security. But we will not be silenced and we will continue to remind the government of its obligation to protect human rights,” said Trajano. (cbc)