Justice for Atty. Mia Mascariñas-Green, Justice for all slain environmental rights defenders!
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), an alliance of human rights organizations in the Philippines, condemn the killing of environmental rights defender and lawyer, Atty. Mia Manuelita Mascariñas-Green, last Wednesday, February 15, in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Based on reports, Atty. Mia, 49, died of bullet wounds in the head and body. Her children, one aged 9 and her two-year-old twins, were unharmed but they were shocked and shaken.
We take note that injustice takes place in this country on a daily basis. We suffer the loss of our loved ones who were brutally killed for defending the environment and for daring to speak truth to power.
The killing of Atty. Mia and many environmental rights defenders like Gerry Ortega, Armin Marin, Fr. Fausto Tentorio among others indicates a grim warning for environmental rights defenders where odds are stacked against them. Impunity reigns in the majority of cases of attacks and violence against environmental rights defenders around the world.
In its 2016 Annual Report, Front Line Defenders found that 45 percent of human rights defenders killings worldwide were linked to the defense of land, environmental, and indigenous rights.
Atty. Mia's death is more than another number or name in the long line of human rights defenders who risked and ultimately lost their lives in defending people's right to land and environment. Her killing is but one chapter in the story of many women rights defenders who empowered whole communities to protect the environment and struggle for their land.
Atty. Mia was an inspiration to those around her since her youth days as student activist and a passionate developmental legal advocate with the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) and Alternative Law Group (ALG).
PAHRA demands a thorough, transparent yet expedite investigation by authorities is essential, in order to bring all culprits to justice.
Justice for Atty. Mia, Justice for all slain environmental rights defenders!