Junio 2, 2007

France urges Manila to back disappearances treaty

MANILA, June 1 (Reuters) - France appealed to the Philippines to sign and ratify an international treaty on disappearances as European human rights experts are due to help local authorities solve political killings.

Gerard Chesnel, France ambassador to the Philippines, said democratic governments around the world must support the treaty on disappearances to criminalise and to put to an end rampant state-sanctioned abduction of people.

"We do regret and condemn disappearances anywhere in the world," Chesnel said. "It's something that democratic countries cannot accept."

In the Philippines, human rights advocates say nearly 200 people have disappeared since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was swept to power by street protests in 2001. Most of abduction cases were blamed on the military.

France has been rallying global support for the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances since it was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 2006.

Gabriel Munuera Vinals, head of the European Union's public affairs section, said nine European human rights experts from the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Germany and Spain were due this month to help Manila solve extra-judicial killings.

Posted by marga at Junio 2, 2007 4:45 AM | TrackBack
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