A petition signed by lawyers organisations from Asia, Canada Europe and the United States call on the Aquino government to prevent extrajudicial killings and all forms of harassment of lawyers and to end impunity by prosecuting perpetrators of rights violations. The petition also calls on the Aquino government to protect the safety of lawyers as provided for in the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1990.
At least 38 lawyers have been killed in the Philippines since 2004 for reasons apparently related to their profession. Many more lawyers have been threatened, harassed, intimidated, labeled as ‘enemies of the state’ or subjected to surveillance or other forms of attacks. Perpetrators are rarely identified and suspects seldom arrested and held accountable through prosecutions. Under huge international pressure the number of extrajudicial killings, including those of lawyers, declined significantly in the second half of 2007. Recently, however, the number of killings of lawyers is on the rise again with four lawyers killed in 2014.
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