Maria Arena, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) issued the following statement after the killing of Zara Alvarez, paralegal for the human rights alliance Karapatan:
“I have been greatly saddened and alarmed by the news of the killing of Ms. Zara Alvarez on Monday, 17 August 2020. She was reportedly fatally shot by unknown individuals along Santa Maria Street in Eroreco in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City.
Ms. Zara Alvarez was a well-known human rights defender who worked as a paralegal for Karapatan (the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights). She received many threats and was subject to repeated harassment as a result of her human rights engagement.
I strongly condemn the killing of Ms. Zara Alvarez and wish to echo the call by the UN Human Rights Office for an independent, thorough, and transparent investigation into her murder in order to identify all those responsible, bring them to justice, and sanction them as provided by the law.
I remain equally concerned about the ongoing killings and attacks against all those acting to protect and secure rights and freedoms, and promoting peace and sustainable development in the Philippines. I can only emphasise that the protection of human rights defenders, including their safety and psychological well-being, as well as their ability to carry out their activities without hindrance or fear of reprisals, constitutes an essential part of the duty of the state”.
For further information contact:
EP Press ServiceContact data: