Rights defenders slam deportation threats vs. Aussie prof

An Australian professor remains held at the Philippine airport as of this writing as the Philippine government threatens to have him deported over his alleged participation in a rally here.

Prof. Gil Boehringer was held by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 since 12 midnight of August 8, 2018, upon his arrival from Sydney, according to human rights group Karapatan.

“The Duterte regime is unsettled by the international clamor against its anti-Filipino policies. It works tirelessly to prevent individuals from exposing the gross rights violations happening in the country, cowardly hiding behind the rhetoric of exercising the country’s sovereign will. We cannot even begin to enumerate the many instance in which the Duterte regime watched meekly as the country’s sovereignty was continuously disrespected. This is just another effort to silence the voices that echo the people’s demand for justice,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

His doctor, Dr. Geneve Rivera-Reyes Health Action for Human Rights, who examined him upon his request, said that the 84-year-old law professor “has a history of an almost fatal pulmonary embolism. Aside from his risk of having deep vein thrombosis, he is currently suffering from cellulitis on both legs. For humanitarian reasons, the BI should consider that it is not safe for Boehringer to be made to travel again without a medical specialist’s clearance.”

Boehringer is reportedly among those in the blacklist by the Bureau of Immigration, which critics described as a “shotgun measure courtesy of NICA,” referring to the country’s military intelligence office.

“At anong mensahe ang nais iparating ng gobyernong Duterte sa mundo? Na sarado tayo sa anumang pagkilatis ng ating human rights record? Na hindi welcome ang mga human rights advocates?” said activist Renato Reyes in his Facebook account.

(What is the message that the Duterte government is sending the world? That we are no open to have our human rights record looked into? That human rights advocates are not welcome?)

Palabay added it is “alarming” that foreign nationals who are expressing support to the Filipino’s struggle for genuine change are being barred from entering the country while the “real crooks” are “given a free pass in and out of the country.”

She said, “this is the Duterte regime’s paranoia. The regime is showing its cracks,defensive and scared to be buried under the weight of its own crimes against the Filipino people.” (RPRD News)

(Photo grabbed from Cristina Palabay’s Facebook account)

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