HomeNews AlertHuman rights activist killed in central Philippines

Human rights activist killed in central Philippines

A human rights activist on Negros Island in the central Philippines was killed in Bacolod City on Monday night, rights group Karapatan reported.

The victim was identified as Zara Alvarez, former education director and a paralegal staff member of rights group Karapatan in Negros.

The killing of Alvarez came days after the murder of peace activist Randall “Randy” Echanis in Manila last week.

“We are in deep grief and indignation,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

Alvarez and Echanis were earlier included in a 2018 list of activists tagged by the government as “terrorists” in a proscription case of the Department of Justice.

“[Alvarez’s] name and that of many others were stricken off the list, but the threats against her by alleged state forces continued,” said Palabay in a statement.

An entry about Alvarez on the website of the German Action Network Human Rights – Philippines show that Alvarez was allegedly harassed for speaking about human rights issues and was branded as a member of the communist rebel group New People’s Army.

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Alvarez was arrested in 2012 for alleged involvement over the death of an Army lieutenant during a skirmish with the rebels in 2010.

after her release, Alvarez continued to work as Karapatan’s paralegal and as research and advocacy officer of the Negros Island Health Integrated Program.

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