Speakers to discuss human rights in Philippines

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Marking the 40th anniversary of martial law, a panel of former political prisoners and activists will tell their own stories of detention, as well as describe the ongoing struggles against human rights abuses in the Philippines.

Human Rights in the Philippines: A Continuing Struggle, a panel discussion, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 6 to 8pm, at 280N York Lanes, Keele campus. Refreshments will be provided at this free event.

Photo exhibit in Scott Library, curated by photographer Alex Felipe Photo exhibit in Scott Library, curated by photographer Alex Felipe

There will also be a photo exhibit running, From Martial Law to Today: Human Rights in the Philippines, at Scott Library in ground floor lobby. The exhibition, curated by photographer Alex Felipe, will provide a graphic account of struggles for human rights over the last 40 years in the Philippines, featuring images from the martial law period to modern times, from the point of view of human rights and democracy activists. The exhibit will run until Oct. 23. Admission is free.

In September 1972, democratic freedoms were suspended in the Philippines when President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. Tens of thousands of Filipinos were arrested and imprisoned. Although martial law was lifted in 1981, the struggle for human rights, democracy and development continues into the present. Even today, over 300 Photo exhibit in Scott Library untipolitical detainees remain imprisoned and extra-judicial killings have been widespread.

Photo exhibit in Scott Library until Oct. 23

Organized by Philip Kelly, director of the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), the panel is intended to connect students at York University with the histories of struggle undertaken by their parents’ generation, and to raise awareness of contemporary human rights issues in the Philippines.

The panellists will include:

Ricky Esguerra – former political prisoner, Philippine Solidarity Network, vice-chair of education at the Community Alliance for Social Justice.

Hermie Garcia – former political prisoner, editor of the Philippine Reporter and president of Community Alliance for Social Justice.

Bern Jagunos – Asia program coordinator at the United Church of Canada.

Perry Sorio – former political prisoner, secretary-general of Migrante Canada.

The discussant will be François Tanguay-Renaud, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and director of the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security at York. The panel will be moderated by Alex Felipe of BAYAN-Canada.

This event is sponsored by YCAR, the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security, Migrante-Canada, Community Alliance for Social Justice and BAYAN-Canada.

For more information, contact ycar@yorku.ca.