Mayo 10, 2007

EU team aims to aid Philippines in probes of political killings

May 10, 2007, 6:15 GMT

Manila - The European Union said Thursday that it would dispatch a team of experts to the Philippines in June to assess what form of assistance the government there needs in resolving a spate of extrajudicial political killings in the country.

The team would be composed of three officials from the Brussels-based European Commission (EC) and up to five police, technical and human-rights experts from EU countries, said Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, head of an EC delegation in Manila.

'The team is likely to arrive on the 4th of June, and they'll be here for 10 days,' he said. 'They're going to make an assessment of needs. They're not going to make an assessment of the killings.'

'They'll be discussing with Philippine authorities ... as to what technical support they need to help them carry forward more effectively in their investigation and prosecution,' he added.

MacDonald said the team was expected to submit a recommendation of what kind of assistance the EU or individual member countries could give the Philippines in efforts aimed at putting a stop to the political killings.

According to the Philippine human-rights group Karapatan, close to 900 people have become victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines since 2001. Most of the victims are leftist, political, human-rights and labour activists.

There have also been about 180 cases of forced disappearances of activists in the same period.

Activists have accused the military of being behind most of the attacks.

Several foreign fact-finding missions, including one conducted by a UN human-rights investigator, have concluded that the armed forces could indeed be blamed for most of the killings and forced disappearances.

Amid mounting international pressure to resolve the political attacks, the Philippine government has called on various foreign governments and organizations, such as the EU and the UN, to help it investigate the killings.
© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Posted by marga at Mayo 10, 2007 5:54 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?