Skip to main content
Home ×

Human Rights Watch: LRA Victims Share Personal Stories | In Philippines, A Family Spreads Terror

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Human Rights Watch <>
Date: Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 6:08 PM
Subject: LRA Victims Share Personal Stories | In Philippines, A Family Spreads Terror
To: david chirot <>

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here.
The Week In Rights
November 18, 2010

Follow us on   Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  iTunes  RSS

A Message from the LRA's Victims
Child Soldiers, Other Victims in Central Africa Share Personal Stories

During its recent investigation of  the Lord's Resistance Army's (LRA) crimes, Human Rights Watch researchers noticed hundreds of people in the Central African Republic wearing t-shirts bearing US President Barack Obama's image. For them, and for LRA victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Obama is a hero. Many even had personal messages for him.

In May, Obama signed into law legislation requiring the US to develop a strategy to protect civilians from the LRA and to stop the rebel group's violence. The new strategy is due by November 24.

Between May and September, our researchers spoke with hundreds of the rebel group's victims, taking their testimony, and recording their messages to Obama and other world leaders.

The LRA has carried out horrific atrocities across central Africa. It reinforces its numbers by abducting children, who are then forced to fight and kill. Across northern Congo, southern Sudan, and CAR, the LRA has killed 2,385 people in the past two years and caused more than 400,000 to flee their villages and abandon their fields.

Even in the crush of politics at home, President Obama should respond to the cries of the LRA's victims. His leadership is needed with other governments to protect civilians and arrest those responsible for the LRA's war crimes.


Watch the video »
Photo: © Marcus Bleasdale/VII
In Philippines, A Family Spreads Terror
The Family Uses Government Weapons, Soldiers, and Police in its Militia

For two decades, a ruling family on the Philippines island of Mindanao has committed atrocities with a "private army" carrying government-supplied weapons. One year ago, the family and its militia allegedly massacred 58 people.

After the massacre, Human Rights Watch travelled to Mindanao to investigate how such an attrocity could happen. Researchers discovered more than 50 more cases of killings, torture, sexual assault, and abductions that evidence linked to the family, the Ampatuans, and their militia.

Our report shows how the government provided the Ampatuans with military weapons and protection from prosecution. Most members of their private army were police officers, paramilitary members, or soldiers. But the Philippines president, the Justice Department and Human Rights Commission had all ignored the abuses.

The massacre targeted a convoy with family and supporters of an opposition gubernatorial candidate, Ismael Mangudadatu, also killing more than two dozen media workers. Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. and other family members were arrested after a national and international outcry. However, 114 of the 195 people charged with the killings remain at large.

The Ampatuans' militia is one of more than 100 private armies operating in the Philippines. The government should eliminate these militias and provide justice to their victims.


Read more »
Photo: © 2009 Reuters Limited
Most Popular Headlines
Saudi Arabia: Journalist Sentenced to Public Lashing
Saudi authorities should overturn a sentence of 50 lashes and two months in prison for a journalist who wrote about public anger over electricity cuts. King Abdullah has encouraged citizens to voice their legitimate concerns. But apparently those who do can expect a public lashing and a prison term.
Sudan: Halt Wave of Attacks on Civilians in Darfur
The Sudanese government should not get away with attacking Darfur civilians again because everyone is paying attention to the referendum in the south. The government needs to end these attacks immediately and let humanitarian agencies reach civilians who need the help, including people in rebel-held territories.
Burma: Suu Kyi Release Spotlights Remaining Political Prisoners 
Aung San Suu Kyi should never have been imprisoned in the first place. Her release now is a deeply cynical ploy by the military government to distract the international community from its illegitimate elections.
Editor's Picks
9/11 Justice for New Yorkers
by Kennth Roth
The Guardian
As the Obama administration contemplates where to try the self-confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants, there could be no better way to repudiate the unlawful counter-terrorism policies of the Bush administration than to hold these trials in New York federal court.
The High Price of Journalism in Putin's Russia
by Elena Milashina
The Wall Street Journal
As a journalist for Russia's leading independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, I have been lucky. For over a decade I've had the privilege to report extensively on dramatic current events in my country-including in Chechnya and other turbulent North Caucasus republics.
Senegal: Donors to Meet to Fund Hissène Habré Trial
After so many years of tenacity and disappointments, Hissène Habré's victims can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Senegal needs to get the proceedings under way before even more survivors die.


Podcasts Podcasts
Rights Watch:
A referendum early next year will determine whether Southern Sudan remains part of Sudan. What does this mean for Darfur?
Sign the petition!

World Report 2010

Purchase a bound copy of the edition

Download PDF

"They Own the People"

The Ampatuans, State-Backed Militias, and Killings in the Southern Philippines

Forward to a friend


Home | Take Action  Privacy 

To prevent mailbox filters from deleting mailings from Human Rights Watch, add to your address book.

Remove yourself from this mailing.

Politica dei commenti: Si prega di scrivere i vostri commenti in base all'argomento di questa pagina di distacco. I commenti contenenti un collegamento non verranno visualizzati prima dell'approvazione.
Open Comment
Close Comment