Free Kara and Larry! Stop the attacks against human rights defenders!

The Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) raises alarm over the illegal arrest of Kilusang Mayo Uno’s International Officer, Kara Taggaoa, and transport leader Larry Valbuena of PASODA-PISTON.

Kara and Larry were arrested based on trumped-up charges of direct assault and were not presented with an arrest warrant at the time of the arrest. They were arrested after attending an arraignment hearing at the QC Hall of Justice for another trumped-up robbery charge filed against them for acts that they allegedly committed against a police officer illegally surveilling a protest action against the Anti-Terror Law at the CHR Complex in 2020. Both Kara and Larry were brought to Camp Caringal in Quezon City.

It is ironic that the arrest of Kara and Larry comes after the Philippine government claimed that it is “serious” about the human rights situation in the Philippines and that it intends to “inject human rights into every step of our law enforcement and judicial processes”, at the recently concluded 51st Session of the UN Human Rights Council. Instead of demonstrating concrete steps to address the spate of human rights violations and hold perpetrators to account, it is business as usual in its relentless attacks against rights defenders.

The Center for Women’s Resources supports the call to release Kara and Larry immediately. We enjoin rights defenders and advocates all over the world in resisting the further shrinking of civic and political spaces and demand justice for grave human rights violations committed against the Filipino people.

Drop the trumped-up charges filed against Kara and Larry!
Hands-off human rights defenders!

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