[ENG/SPN]:Petition for Indigenous Peoples in Russia/Petición para los pueblos indígenas en Rusia

*Spanish translation follows by google translate/Traducción española sigue por traductor Google

Stop the persecution of Sergey Kechimov and investigate Surgutneftegaz destructive activities on Khanti ancestral lands!

Sergey Kechimov, a deer-herder from Yugra (Siberia) may be jailed for up to 2 years for protecting the Imlor lake, a sacred place for the local Khanti people.Sergey dared to challenge Surgutneftegaz – one of the most powerful oil companies in Russia – which got the permission for oil drilling at the Imlor lake regardless the opinion of native people.

For the Khanti of Surgut, even hunting, fishing, burning fires, picking up mushrooms and herbs around the lake were traditionally forbidden activities. Supported by the conclusions of an official examination carried out by State experts in history and culture, the Khanti requested the authorities to grant the lake territory special protection status. In April 2012, a project of local Government’s stated they would include the “Sacred lake of Imlor” into the official registry of protected cultural heritage sites. But the initial project was ultimately declined due to pressure from the oil industry.

Thus, the welfare of both the native  people and the environment were sacrificed to Surgutneftegaz’s profit. Oil rigs started to appear around the lake. Even as the full-scale industrial drilling had not begun, oil started to leak  from the pipelines and into the lake.

For many years, Sergey Kechimov, belonging to a generation of deer-herders, protected the Imlor lake from poachers. He could not remain quiet as  the oil industry started destroying it. He repeatedly complained to the authorities about the pollution of the lake – thus infuriating the oil company management more and more.

Last Fall, dogs belonging to the oil-company workers, killed one of Sergey’s deers and attacked him as well. Sergey was forced to shoot one of the dogs. The incident took place within an area designated as a ”territory of traditional use of natural resources” to protect the way of life of the ancestral people. Instead of questioning the oil company’s activity in such a location, a few days later the police visited Sergey Kechimov and asked him to sign a document. A forest dweller with little experience in handling documents, Sergey signed what turned to be a confession to “threatening” and “blackmailing” the oil workers.

A criminal case is now open and Sergey may face up to 2 years in prison.  More detailed description of the situation is here (in Russian). See also Al-Jazeera video (in English)

Please join us in calling on the Russian/Siberian authorities:

  • To withdraw all the accusations against Sergey Kechimov for fighting to protect his ancestral land from the oil business.
  • To investigate the legality of Surgutneftegaz’ “rights” to perform any work within the Khanti’s protected ancestral lands.
  • To ensure the Prosecutor’s Office enforces the ancestral rights of the  Khanti people within the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous region.

Click here to go to petition page ( https://www.change.org/p/yuri-chaika-general-prosecutor-of-russian-federation-general-prosecutor-office-of-russia-stop-the-persecution-of-sergey-kechimov-and-investigate-surgutneftegaz-destructive-activities-on-khanti-ancestral-lands?recruiter=51395695&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-no_src-custom_msg&fb_ref=Default )

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Detener la persecución de Sergey Kechimov e investigar Surgutneftegaz actividades destructivas en tierras ancestrales Khanti!
Sergey Kechimov, un ciervo-pastor de Yugra (Siberia) puede ser encarcelado por hasta 2 años para proteger el lago Imlor, un lugar sagrado para la Khanti people.Sergey locales se atrevieron a desafiar Surgutneftegaz – una de las más poderosas compañías petroleras en Rusia – que obtuvo el permiso para la extracción de petróleo en el lago Imlor sin importar la opinión de los pueblos nativos.
Para el Khanti de Surgut, incluso la caza, la pesca, la quema de fuegos, recogiendo setas y hierbas alrededor del lago que tradicionalmente se les prohibió actividades. Con el apoyo de las conclusiones de un examen oficial, llevada a cabo por expertos de los Estados en la historia y la cultura, la Khanti solicitó a las autoridades a conceder el estatus de protección especial territorio lago. En abril de 2012, un proyecto del Gobierno de locales declararon que incluirían el “lago sagrado de Imlor” en el registro oficial de los sitios del patrimonio cultural protegido. Pero el proyecto inicial se ha rechazado en última instancia por la presión de la industria petrolera.
Por lo tanto, el bienestar tanto de los pueblos originarios y el medio ambiente fueron sacrificados a las ganancias de Surgutneftegaz. Plataformas petroleras comenzaron a aparecer alrededor del lago. A pesar de que no había comenzado la perforación industrial a gran escala, el petróleo comenzó a escaparse de las tuberías y en el lago.
Durante muchos años, Sergey Kechimov, que pertenece a una generación de pastores de ciervos, protegida del lago Imlor de los cazadores furtivos. No podía permanecer en silencio como la industria del petróleo comenzó a destruirlo. Se quejó en repetidas ocasiones a las autoridades acerca de la contaminación del lago – enfureciendo así la gestión de la empresa petrolera más y más.
El otoño pasado, los perros que pertenecen a los trabajadores de las petroleras, mataron a uno de ciervos de Sergey y lo atacaron también. Sergey se vio obligado a disparar a uno de los perros. El incidente tuvo lugar en un área designada como un “territorio de uso tradicional de los recursos naturales” para proteger el modo de vida de los pueblos ancestrales. En lugar de cuestionar la actividad de la compañía petrolera en un lugar tal, unos días más tarde la policía visitaron Sergey Kechimov y le pidieron que firmara un documento. Un habitante del bosque con poca experiencia en el manejo de documentos, Sergey firmó lo que resultó ser una confesión de “amenaza” y “chantajear” a los trabajadores petroleros.
Un caso penal ya está abierto y Sergey podría enfrentar hasta 2 años de prisión. Una descripción más detallada de la situación es que aquí (en ruso). Ver también Al-Jazeera de video (en Inglés)
Por favor, únase a nosotros para pedir a las autoridades rusas / siberianos:
Para retirar todas las acusaciones contra Sergey Kechimov por luchar para proteger a su tierra ancestral del negocio del petróleo.
Para investigar la legalidad de los “derechos” Surgutneftegaz “para realizar cualquier trabajo dentro de las tierras ancestrales protegidas del Khanti.
Para asegurar la Fiscalía hace cumplir los derechos ancestrales de los pueblos Khanti dentro de la región autónoma de Khanty-Mansiysk.

 

Call for endorsements: Statement of Concern on Lao PDR and the ACSC/APF 2016

We ask you to kindly circulate the Statement of Concern to your networks and members. Please send your endorsements to<clopa@seaca.net>.

Statement of Concern On Lao PDR and the ACSC/APF 2016

To the Regional Steering Committee

ACSC/APF 2015 Malaysia

We, the undersigned, are national and regional civil society organisations, networks and alliances from South East Asian countries, and key movers of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People’s Forum  (ACSC/APF) processes through the last ten years, from 2005 to 2015. With you, we have been committed to promoting the ACSC/APF process as a civil society-driven, free and open space for building community and solidarity amongst the peoples of Southeast Asia.

While we have had a demonstrable commitment to the ACSC/APF process, we wish to raise our collective concern on the state of democracy and human rights in Lao PDR, and the difficulties we anticipate in having an ACSC/APF in Lao PDR in 2016.

During the consultations leading to and during the APF 2015, particularly during the 3rd Regional Organizing Meeting in March 2015, a group of unnamed Lao CSOs expressed their objection to the ACSC/APF’s positions on issues, namely on 1) LGBTIQ/ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex, queer; 2) indigenous peoples, and dams; 3) multi-party systems and democracy; and, 4) the disappearance of Sombath Somphone. Dr Maydom, Lao representative to the SC, confirmed during the Regional Organizing meeting, that discussions on these issues would not be possible in Laos.

Based on this, we foresee and have reason to believe that any free discussions and dialogue on very crucial regional issues–on equality and diversity; on development projects and their impacts on peoples and environments; on freedoms and human rights–will not and cannot take place in Lao.

Based on the prior experience of the Asia Europe People’s Forum (AEPF9), we do not see any credible assurances from Lao CSOs based within the country that a prospective ACSC/APF 2016 in Lao will not be plagued by troubles similar to those experienced in AEPF9.

We are certain that an ACSC/APF 2016 will not be organized by Lao civil society. Instead, the government of Laos will certainly have its hand in controlling an ACSC/APF 2016, contrary to the spirit of a civil society organized event. Even if the current CSO representatives from Laos, or the government of Laos, are genuinely sincere in using this opportunity to recover its credibility to hold future events like the ACSC/APF, they have yet to address specific measures to prevent a repeat of any of the inexcusable examples of harassment and impunity by various state actors during and immediately after the AEPF9.

The issue of Sombath Somphone’s enforced disappearance, and the developments around the AEPF9, particularly the inability of the Laos government to make good their promise of allowing the event to be held independently, without interference, is a warning on the current state of Lao society, and the Lao government’s attitude towards civil society and the legitimate issues they work on. The reluctance of Lao civil society to participate, as well as the inability to do so independently in this post-AEPF9 period, clearly highlight the repercussions of the tragedy of the AEPF9. There should be no illusions about the reality of the prevailing fear within Lao society in mentioning issues that are deemed sensitive, such as, Sombath and enforced disappearances, Indigenous peoples, LGBTIQ, multi-party political systems and democracy.

The statement from the IOC of the AEPF and other sources of narration of the foreign civil society actors being dispelled from the country should serve as further reminders of the state’s involvement in the current alarming situation of human rights abuses and danger to civil society within Laos.

Considering all of the above, there seems to be no possibility of a freely organized ACSC/APF in Laos. It would be impossible to uphold the agreed engagement modalities and guiding principles as determined during the ACSC/APF 2015.

We, CSOs in Southeast Asia, hope that the ACSC/APF 2015 Regional Steering Committee will provide the courageous leadership in answering the following questions among the ACSC/APF community, which are central to the current crisis in Laos, and are relevant to the ACSC/APF going forward.

  • Are we prepared to accept an ACSC/APF that is not freely organized by regional civil society? Are we prepared to accept the controlling hand, whether seen or unseen, of the Lao government on the process?
  • Are we fully cognizant of the risks and dangers toward participants, particularly Lao participants, by holding an ACSC/APF in Laos?
  • Are we willing to disenfranchise participants and communities of the LGBTIQ, of indigenous peoples, of environmental groups, of anti-dam campaigners, of democracy activists and human rights defenders, of families of prisoners and the disappeared, by holding an ACSC/APF in Laos?
  • Even if we wish to act upon the idea of benefitting Lao peoples in Laos, and of supporting Lao civil society, are we prepared to compromise the integrity of the ACSC/APF process in Lao, while keeping faithful to the ACSC/APF guiding principles and engagement modalities?

We foresee that the painful answers to the questions we raise will be in the negative; and therefore,

We implore the ACSC/APF 2015 Steering Committee, to seriously consider the option of not endorsing an ACSC/APF 2016 process in Lao.

We implore the ACSC/APF 2015 Steering Committee to bring this discussion back to the country and regional caucuses, to jointly imagine an alternative ACSC/APF process in 2016 outside of Lao PDR, while ensuring that Lao peoples and civil society can still participate freely in such a process.

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Traducción Español por Google Translate

Declaración de Preocupación En República Democrática Popular Lao y la ACSC / APF 2016
Para el Comité Directivo Regional
ACSC / APF 2.015 Malasia
Nosotros, los abajo firmantes, somos organizaciones de la sociedad civil, redes nacionales y regionales y alianzas de países del sudeste asiático, y los motores clave de la / Foro ASEAN Sociedad Civil Conferencia de la ASEAN Personas (ACSC / APF) procesa a través de los últimos diez años, de 2005 a 2015. con ustedes, que se han comprometido a promover el proceso de ACSC / APF como un espacio libre y abierta impulsada por la sociedad civil, para la construcción de la comunidad y la solidaridad entre los pueblos del sudeste asiático.
Si bien hemos tenido un compromiso demostrable con el proceso de ACSC / APF, queremos elevar nuestra preocupación colectiva sobre el estado de la democracia y los derechos humanos en República Democrática Popular Lao, y las dificultades que anticipar en tener un ACSC / APF en Laos en 2016.
Durante las consultas previas y durante la APF 2015, particularmente durante la tercera reunión regional de organización en marzo de 2015, un grupo de sin nombre Lao OSC expresó su objeción a las posiciones de la ACSC / de la APF en temas, a saber, el 1) LGBTIQ / lesbianas, gays, bisexual, transexual, intersexual, raro; 2) Los pueblos indígenas, y las presas; 3) sistemas multipartidistas y la democracia; y, 4) la desaparición de Sombath Somphone. Dr Maydom, representante de Laos a la SC, confirmó durante la reunión regional de Organización, que los debates sobre estas cuestiones no serían posibles en Laos.
En base a esto, prever y tener razones para creer que cualquier discusión libre y el diálogo sobre cuestiones regionales muy importantes – sobre la igualdad y la diversidad; en proyectos de desarrollo y sus impactos en los pueblos y entornos; las libertades y derechos humanos – no y no se llevará a cabo en Laos.
Sobre la base de la experiencia previa del Foro de Europa Gente Asia (AEPF9), no vemos ningún garantías creíbles de Lao OSC basadas en el país de que un estudio prospectivo ACSC / APF 2016 en Lao no será plagado de problemas similares a los experimentados en AEPF9 .
Estamos seguros de que una ACSC / APF 2016 no será organizado por Lao sociedad civil. En cambio, el gobierno de Laos sin duda tendrá su mano en el control de la ACSC / APF de 2016, en contra del espíritu de un evento de la sociedad civil organizada. Incluso si los actuales representantes de OSC de Laos, o el gobierno de Laos, son realmente sinceros en el uso de esta oportunidad de recuperar su credibilidad para celebrar eventos futuros como la ACSC / APF, que todavía tienen que abordar medidas específicas para prevenir una repetición de cualquiera de los ejemplos inexcusables de hostigamiento e impunidad por diversos actores estatales durante e inmediatamente después de la AEPF9.
El tema de la desaparición forzada de Sombath Somphone, y los desarrollos de todo el AEPF9, en particular la incapacidad del gobierno de Laos para hacer buena su promesa de permitir que el evento que se realizará de forma independiente, sin interferencia, es una advertencia sobre el estado actual de la sociedad Lao, y la actitud del gobierno de Laos con la sociedad civil y las cuestiones legítimas que trabajar. La renuencia de Lao sociedad civil a participar, así como la imposibilidad de hacerlo de forma independiente en este período post-AEPF9, claramente destacan las repercusiones de la tragedia de la AEPF9. Hay que hacerse ilusiones acerca de la realidad del miedo que prevalece en la sociedad Lao en mencionar cuestiones que se consideran sensibles, tales como, Sombath y desapariciones forzadas, los pueblos indígenas, LGBTIQ, sistemas políticos multipartidistas y la democracia.
El comunicado del COI del AEPF y otras fuentes de la narración de los actores de la sociedad civil extranjeras se disipó del país debe servir como todos los recordatorios de la participación del Estado en la alarmante situación actual de los abusos contra los derechos humanos y de peligro para la sociedad civil dentro de Laos.
Teniendo en cuenta todo lo anterior, no parece haber ninguna posibilidad de un ACSC / APF libremente organizada en Laos. Sería imposible mantener las modalidades de compromiso acordadas y principios rectores que determine durante la ACSC / APF 2015.
Nosotros, las OSC en el sudeste de Asia, esperamos que el 2015 Comité Directivo Regional ACSC / APF proporcionará el liderazgo valiente en respuesta a las siguientes preguntas entre la comunidad ACSC / APF, que son centrales a la crisis actual en Laos, y son relevantes para la ACSC / APF en el futuro.
· Estamos preparados para aceptar una ACSC / APF que no se organicen libremente por la sociedad civil regional? ¿Estamos preparados para aceptar la mano controladora, ya sea visto o no visto, el gobierno de Laos en el proceso?
· Somos plenamente conscientes de los riesgos y peligros hacia los participantes, en particular los participantes Lao, mediante la celebración de un ACSC / APF en Laos?
· Estamos dispuestos a privar de derechos a los participantes y comunidades de la LGBTIQ, de los pueblos indígenas, de grupos ecologistas, de los activistas anti-represas, de activistas democráticos y defensores de derechos humanos, de las familias de los presos y los desaparecidos, mediante la celebración de un ACSC / APF en Laos?
· Incluso si queremos actuar sobre la idea de beneficiar a los pueblos Lao en Laos y de apoyo a la sociedad Lao civiles, estamos dispuestos a poner en peligro la integridad del proceso de ACSC / APF en Lao, mientras se mantiene fiel a la ACSC / APF principios rectores y las modalidades de compromiso?
Prevemos que las respuestas dolorosas a las preguntas que planteamos será negativa; y por lo tanto,
Imploramos el Comité Directivo ACSC / APF 2015, a considerar seriamente la posibilidad de no aprobar un proceso de ACSC / APF 2016 en Lao.
Imploramos al Comité 2015 Dirección ACSC / APF para llevar esta discusión de nuevo al país y asambleas regionales, imaginar conjuntamente un proceso de ACSC / APF alternativa en 2016 fuera de República Democrática Popular Lao, al tiempo que garantiza que los pueblos de Laos y la sociedad civil todavía pueden participar libremente en tal proceso.

Appeal for Action and Update on Five Manobo massacred by 1st Special Forces Battalion

*Spanish Translation follows (by Google translate)

Appeal for Action:

Five Manobo massacred by 1st Special Forces Battalion

UA Date                                             : August 30, 2015
UA Case                                             : Massacre/Extrajudicial Killing, Frustrated Killing, Use of Civilian in Police and/or Military Operations as Guides and/or Shield, Use of Schools, Medical, Religious and other Public Places for Military Purpose, Endangerment of Civilians
Victim/s                                            : Massacre:

Emer Somina

–          Male, 17years old

–          Manobo

Welmer Somina

–          Male, 19 years old

–          Manobo farmer

Norman Samia

–          Male, 14 years old

–          Manobo

Herminio Samia

–          Male, 70 years old

–          Manobo farmer

Jobert Samia

–          Male, 70 years old

–          Manobo farmer

–          blind

Frustrated Killing:

(Name withheld)

–          15 years old

–          Manobo farmer

Place of Incident                          : Sitio Mandum, Brgy. Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon
Date of Incident                           : August 18, 3015
Alleged Perpetrator(s)           : 3rd Company of the1st Special Forces Battalion under the ground commander Capt. Balatbat ; Col. Nasser Lidasan as Battalion Commander

Account of the Incident:

On August 18, 2015, Herminio Samia, 70, his son Jobert, 20, his grandson Norman, 13 and his nephews Emer andWelmer Somina had lunch at his house at Sitio Mandum, Brgy. Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon. A 15 year-old relative whose name is withheld was also with them.

At around 3p.m., they heard a series of gun fire from the forest. Jobert immediately suggested to go to a safer place but Herminio advised otherwise. Herminio can no longer take long walks for he is old and blind. He said they were civilians and they have nothing to do with the fight. The gun fire lasted for more than one hour.

At 5p.m., when the gun firehad subsided, they heard someone from outside the house shouted, “Kayong mga NPA na nandyan sa itaas ng bahay, lumabas kayo diyan at bumaba dito!” (You NPA inside the house get out and get down here!) The boys were forced to come down and immediately saw the soldiers who ordered them to raise their hands. Herminio, on the other hand, explained it is difficult for him to go down because he is blind but a soldier retorted while cursing, “Litse, bakit hindi makababa ay meron namang hagdan!? (How can you not come down when there is a stair). Herminio obliged and struggled to come down the house. Being blind, Herminio did not know where to go and started to stray until he reached a coffee tree. The soldiers shot Herminio. Then they shot his nephew Emer. The eye witness was the next target but he was able to run. He hid behind big rocks, which became his cover until he could reach the house of Orenio Samia, his uncle.

The next day, 27 residents, including barangay councilor Isabero Sulda checked Herminio’s place. When they arrived they saw about 22 soldiers who ordered them to line up. The soldiers took pictures of the 27 villagers and listed down their names. They were also warned not to look at the soldiers as they collected the dead bodies.

They saw five dead bodies in the vicinity of Herminio’s house. Herminio Samia’s body was found near the coffee tree. He was shot at the stomach, his intestines exposed and has an exit wound at the back. Emer Somina’s body was found near the house’s door. Norman Samia was found a few steps away, with his ear removed from his head and his jaw broken. Welmer’s left hand was cut off from his wrist and had a gunshot on his nose, which disfigured his face. Jobert’s body was found near Welmer’s.

The soldiers provided the residents with plastic canvass to transport the remains. They were ordered to take the bodies to the grassy part on the top of the hill where they will be loaded to a helicopter. At the hilltop, the residents were told to prepare the area where the helicopter could land. But then it rained. So they were told to move the bodies to the barangay hall at Madum, Mendis. The soldiers went with them.

The 15 year old witness, after having narrated to his uncle what he saw, was traumatized and has not spoken since then.

As of this writing, members of the the 1st Special Forces Battalion are still encamped at the barangay hall and at the day care center in the same village where the Samias and Seminos were killed.

 

Recommended Action:

 

Send letters, emails or fax messages to call on the BS Aquino government to:

  1. Immediately form an independent investigation composed of representative from human rights groups, churches, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the massacre of Herminio, Jobert and Norman Samia and Emer and Welmer Somina.
  2. Immediately prosecute the soldiers involved in the massacre;
  3. Withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians.
  4. Remind the Philippine Government that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III

President of the Republic

Malacañang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: op@president.gov.ph

Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

7th Floor Agustin Building I

Emerald Avenue

Pasig City 1605

Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066

Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216

stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

  1. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600

Fax:+63(2) 982-5600

Email: osnd@philonline.com, dnd.opla@gmail.com

Atty. Leila De Lima

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-1908

Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.211/214

Fax: (+632) 523-9548

Email:  lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com,lmdelima.doj@gmail.com

 

 

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, (+632) 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

E-mail: comsec@chr.gov.ph

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

National Office

2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., B

rgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES

Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146

Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org

Website: www.karapatan.org

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On Aug. 18, 2015 it was reported that army troopers belonging to the 1st Special Forces battalion killed five individuals whom they presented as members of the revolutionary group – the new people’s army –following a raid at, Brgy. Mendis in the town of Pangantucan Bukidnon province.

However, the killed individuals were not rebels but innocent Lumads and what transpired was not a raid but a massacre.

According to the initial investigation conducted by human rights group Karapatan, the victims Jobert Samia, Hermino Samia, Norman Samia, Emer Somina and Elmer Somina are all members of the Manobo Farmers Association, a local organization of lumad peasants in the area. Two of the victims were minors.

Accordingly, at around 3:30 in the afternoon as the victims were in a farm hut attending to their crops, a volley of fire occurred nearby. The victims, thinking it would be wise to avoid the gunfire and let it subside, chose to stay in their farm hut. A few moments later, several men who presented themselves as army soldiers came into their house and ordered the men to come out. They victims were then fired at by the soldiers killing all five of them. This was all witnessed by a lone survivor – a 15 year old boy who ran as the soldiers began to shoot.

As of this time, human rights groups are conducting a thorough investigation on the events that transpired.

This is not the first time that the soldiers belonging to the 1st Special Forces Battalion were involved in incidents of this kind. A few months back, the same unit was responsible for indiscriminately firing at Lumads who were asserting their rights to the land killing four individuals in an incident which was known as the “Bugna Massacre”. Also, this was the same unit that fired at unarmed birdwatchers at Dalwangan Bukidnon, injuring several foreigners and their local guide.

Kalumbay Northern Mindanao Region and Karapatan-NMR calls for an independent body to conduct a fact finding mission to unearth facts relevant to the incident. Also, we urge the local governments to extend immediate humanitarian assistance to the families of the victims and safeguard the lone survivor who is currently experiencing a trauma because of the incident.

For reference:

Fr. Christopher Ablon, KARAPATAN-NMR: Mobile – 09168263463

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1er Fuerzas Especiales Killed no lumads NPA

El 18 de agosto, 2015 se informó de que soldados del ejército pertenecientes a la primera de las Fuerzas Especiales del batallón mataron a cinco personas a las que presentaron como miembros del grupo revolucionario – el ejército del nuevo pueblo -siguiendo una redada en, Brgy. Mendis en la ciudad de la provincia de Bukidnon Pangantucán.

Sin embargo, las personas que murieron no eran rebeldes sino lumads inocentes y lo que ocurrió no fue un ataque sino una masacre.

De acuerdo con la investigación inicial llevada a cabo por el grupo de derechos humanos Karapatan, las víctimas Jobert Samia, Herminio Samia, Norman Samia, Emer Somina y Elmer Somina son todos los miembros de la Asociación de Agricultores manobo, una organización local de campesinos Lumad de la zona. Dos de las víctimas eran menores de edad.

En consecuencia, alrededor de las 3:30 de la tarde, mientras las víctimas estaban en una cabaña de la granja de asistir a sus cultivos, una salva de incendio se produjo cerca. Las víctimas, pensando que sería aconsejable evitar los disparos y deje que se desploma, optaron por quedarse en su choza de granja. Unos momentos más tarde, varios hombres que se presentaron como soldados del ejército entraron en su casa y ordenaron a los hombres a salir. Ellos víctimas fueron luego dispararon contra los soldados matando a los cinco de ellos. Todo esto fue presenciado por un único sobreviviente – un niño de 15 años que se presentó como los soldados comenzaron a disparar.

A partir de este momento, los grupos de derechos humanos están llevando a cabo una investigación exhaustiva sobre los hechos ocurridos.

Esta no es la primera vez que los soldados pertenecientes a la primera Batallón de Fuerzas Especiales estuvieron involucrados en incidentes de este tipo. Hace unos meses, la misma unidad fue responsable de manera indiscriminada a disparar contra lumads que fueron valer sus derechos a la tierra matando a cuatro personas en un incidente que fue conocido como el “Bugna Massacre”. Además, se trataba de la misma unidad que disparó contra los observadores de aves desarmados en Dalwangan Bukidnon, hiriendo a varios extranjeros y su guía local.

Kalumbay Mindanao del Norte Región y Karapatan-RMN pide un órgano independiente para llevar a cabo una misión de investigación a desenterrar los hechos relacionados con el incidente. Asimismo, instamos a los gobiernos locales para ampliar la asistencia humanitaria inmediata a los familiares de las víctimas y salvaguardar el único sobreviviente que actualmente está experimentando un trauma debido al incidente.

Para referencia:

Padre Christopher Ablon, KARAPATAN-RMN: Mobile – 0916826346

Appeal Sign on: No to MAPITHEL DAM, End Development Injustice in Manipur

The blocking of Thoubal River in efforts to commission Mapithel dam by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department of the Government of Manipur has led to widespread impacts in both upstream and downstream portion of Thoubal River. Homestead land, agriculture land, forest, grazing areas were submerged in upstream areas while the poor quality of dam,filling up of the dam reservoir without completion dam construction, water leaks instilled much fear of dam break, forcing downsteam villagers to seek refuge in higher places. The project proponent and corporate bodies responsible for violations continues to remain scot free without justice. The Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) is preparing to fund Water supply scheme from the dam. The pictures of impacts are attached herwith.

We

would like to request your sign on to a petition to urge upon the concerned authorities of Govt. of India, Government of Manipur, & JICA to stop Mapithel dam commissioning and to desist financing water supply project.