ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) condemns arrest of Walden Bello

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"The filing of cyber libel charges against Walden Bello is nothing but an act of political harassment and persecution aimed at silencing one of the most prominent critics of the Duterte administration, and his numerous rights abuses, as well as the Marcos dynasty. These baseless charges against Mr. Bello epitomize the constant assault against the opposition, which has been constantly attacked through red-tagging and narco-tagging."
"It is deplorable how restrictive legislation, such as the Cyber libel law, has been repeatedly used as a political weapon to persecute government critics and opposition voices in the Philippines. This sort of Libel laws should not exist in a democracy worthy of this name, in which freedom of speech should be protected, not persecuted. The use of this law against Mr. Bello amounts to an attack against democracy itself and the legitimate exercise of political opposition. We demand his immediate and unconditional release."

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) was founded in June 2013 with the objective of promoting democracy and human rights across Southeast Asia. Our founding members include many of the region’s most progressive Members of Parliament (MPs), with a proven track record of human rights advocacy work. They include Eva Kusuma Sundari (Indonesia), Charles Chong (Singapore), Walden Bello (the Philippines), Son Chhay (Cambodia), Kraisak Choonhavan (Thailand), Lim Kit Siang (Malaysia), and Charles Santiago (Malaysia). 

We are a regional network of current and former parliamentarians who use our unique positions to advance human rights and democracy in Southeast Asia. We seek to help create a region where people can express themselves without fear, live free from all forms of discrimination and violence, and where development takes place with human rights at the forefront. 

Our members use their mandate to advocate for human rights inside and outside of parliament, regionally and globally. They work closely with civil society, conduct fact-finding missions, and publish recommendations and opinions on the most important issues affecting the region. 

APHR was born out of the recognition that human rights issues in Southeast Asia are interconnected, and from the desire of progressive legislators to work together across borders to promote and protect human rights.

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