Jul 31 2009
President Obama met yesterday at the White House with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to discuss “counter-terrorism cooperation.” But activists both here in the US and the Philippines have urged the President to bring up government-sponsored human rights violations, in particular the persecution of activists like Philippino-American Melissa Roxas, a Los Angeles based volunteer who was abducted and tortured this past May during a trip to her home country. Roxas, who has appeared on Uprising to discuss human rights violations in the Philippines, was kidnapped with two of her companions and held for six days during which she was handcuffed, interrogated, beaten, suffocated, denied access to a lawyer, and threatened with death. She was accused of being a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army. Lawyers have filed official complaints of torture with the United Nations in Geneva, and the US State Department. On the same day that Presidents Arroyo and Obama met, Melissa Roxas testified in Manila in front of the Philippine House Committee on Human Rights and the Philippine Supreme Court’s hearing about her experiences. Roxas asserts that she was abducted and tortured by plainclothes members of the Philippines Military. Her friends and family have formed a campaign called Justice for Melissa Roxas, and organized vigils and demonstrations in her support across the country.
GUEST: Kuusela Hilo, Coordinator of Justice for Melissa Roxas Campaign, Vice Chair of BAYAN-USA
For more information, visit www.justiceformelissa.org.
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