(Hong Kong, June 26, 2014) To mark the day for victims of torture, a forum and a public gathering with migrant workers will be held simultaneously in Central and in Causeway Bay on Sunday, June 29.
For the Filipino community, an indoor forum on "Torture and human rights in the Philippines" will be held in Li Hall, St. John's Cathedral, from 2pm to 4:30pm.
Speakers will include Mr. Danilo Reyes, deputy director of the Asian Human Rights Commission and Mr. Emmanuel Villanueva, BAYAN Hongkong & Macau chairperson and co-convener of the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP).
Reyes will speak on how and why torture remains a routine, systematic and widespread phenomenon in the Philippines. He will discuss causes as to why, despite robust legal protection after restoration of democracy, torture continues; and how state agents and the security apparatus get away with it.
Villanueva will provide updates and gives an analysis on what underpins the gross and systematic violation of human rights in the country. For over a decade, torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, have continued unabated.
The HKCAHRPP, a coalition of individuals and organizations interested on human rights in the Philippines, has in the past initiated two fact finding missions in the country with delegates from Hong Kong.
The outdoor event will be held along Paterson Street, in Causeway Bay (Causeway Bay MTR Station, Exit E) from 2pm to 5pm.
In this gathering, Ms Answer Styannes, a programme officer of the AHRC, will speak to a mainly Indonesian audience on what torture is, the current state of torture in Indonesia, and why it affects them. In June 2013, Ms. Styannes wrote a special report, titled: "A facade of justice for torture victims" which provides a detailed analysis on the practice of torture in Indonesia.
Apart from Ms. Styannes, Ms Eni Lestari, coordinator of the Indonesian People Struggle Front (FPR-Hong Kong), will speak on pressing human rights problems in Indonesia in the run up to the country's third direct presidential and vice presidential elections on July 9.
Ms. Lestari will draw attention to the ongoing repression in rural villages with farmers dispossessed of their lands. The use of torture, clearly a form of repression, remains a widespread and systematic practice in the country 16 years after the collapse of Soeharto's dictatorial rule.
There will be booths where advocacy and educational materials on torture in Asia will be distributed. There will also be dance and musical performances in this event.
These events are jointly organized by the AHRC, the HKCAHRPP, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan - Hong Kong and Macau) and the FPR-Hong Kong.