German human rights advocates campaign in Europe to protect detained Filipino activist


By Joey Natividad
Special Correspondent

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region ( – Human rights advocates in Germany have expressed concern over the safety of a detained Filipino activist and has sought the help of German parliamentarians and human rights allies in Europe to convince the Philippine government to provide protection for the detainee.

The Filipino detainee, who is languishing in jail for one year, has moved the German-based Action Network Human Rights –Philippines (AMP) in monitoring the detention of “human rights defender” Cocoy Tulawie by asking President Aquino and German Parliamentarians to spare no effort to protect the life and health of this human rights activist.

According to AMP, “the well-known Philippine human rights defender, who has been advocating human rights in Sulu for many years, was arrested one year ago, on January 13, 2012.”

He is accused of having prepared an attempt on the life of Sakur Tan, Governor of the Province of Sulu, in 2009.
Together with many national and international partners, the Action Network for Human Rights in the Philippines is convinced that the accusations against Mr. Tulawie have been made up in order to silence this activist.

“We have information, that all witness statements, on which the indictment is based, are forced and have in the meantime been withdrawn. Due to his work as human rights activist, Mr. Tulawie had already been massively threatened in Sulu, so that he was forced to hide away until his arrest”, Maike Grabowski, coordinator of AMP, informed Bicol by email on Wednesday.

In the wake of the attempted relocation of his process to Manila by Governor Tan, Mr. Tulawie was again threatened with death.

“According to numerous reports, imprisoned violent criminals have already been ordered to murder Mr. Tulawie upon his arrival at the prison of Bicutan. Therefore, it must be feared that Mr. Tulawie’s life is in danger, should he be transferred to the prison of Bicutan” said Jochen Motte, chair of AMP.

AMP said German human rights advocates and development agencies of the Action Network have sent letters to several German Parliamentarians, asking them to advocate for the safety of Mr. Tulawie and support the case to convince the Philippine government to act in compliance with the UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.

The Action Network Human Rights – Philippines, which is based in Cologne, Germany, advocates for the sustainable improvement of the human rights situation in the Philippines. Its members are: Amnesty International, Bread for the World – Church Development Service, Misereor, Missio Munich, Philippinenbüro e.V. and the United Evangelical Mission (UEM). []

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