Massacre in Maguindanao:
JOURNALISTS and trade unionists are often targeted by reactionary regimes and racketeers who don't want ordinary people taking an informed interest in their affairs and talking, let alone trying to do something, about who gets what, and how their countries are run.
In recent years we've seen some high-profile cases in the former Soviet Union, of reporters gunned down if they upset the kleptocrats and nationalists. But on November 23,last year the bloodiest ever slaughter of journalists in a single incident occurred in Maguindanao province, southern Philippines.
An entire election convoy of 63 people including 33 accompanying reporters and media personnel was ambushed, and everyone killed.
Human rights campaigners say enforced disappearances and political killings of trade union leaders, rights activists and journalists have spiralled in the Philippines in the last decade, mainly in the name of counterinsurgency.
They accuse the Philippine government of arming and employing poorly trained and unaccountable paramilitary groups to combat insurgent groups, and handing powers to local politicians who have acted with impunity.
The gunmen who held up the Maguindanao convoy are thought to have been working for one of these politicians and his clan, close to the government. With 2010 being the self-imposed deadline set by the Arroyo administration to end insurgency and with national elections set for 10 May, there are increased fears of further unlawful killings and disappearances.
Here in London, the International Federation of Journalists (represented in the UK by the NUJ), Amnesty International and the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines are holding a Joint Forum on The Maguindanao Massacre: Impunity and Political Killings in the Philippines at 6.00 pm on Wednesday 3 March 2010 at the Human Rights Action Centre 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. Invited speakers include Aiden White, General Secretary IFJ, as well as speakers from Amnesty International and other expert analysts.
They invite us to book a free place by going to www.amnesty.org.uk/events.
For further information contact Shane Enright, AIUK Trade Union Campaigns Manager, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7033 1569
Free food and refreshment will be served!
Wednesday, 03 March 2010
18:00 - 21:00
Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre
17-25 New Inn Yard