Updated: July 31, 2019 09:56 AM GMT
Environmental activists present on July 30 the Global Witness report that labeled the Philippines as the "deadliest country in the world" for land and environmental defenders. (Photo by Jire Carreon)
International human right groups have expressed growing concern over reports of assassinations in the Philippines, especially of activists, in recent months.Several members of the U.S. Congress have already spoken out against what they described as "serious human rights abuses" in the country.Representative Ann Wagner, head of the U.S. Congressional Caucus on Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has noted the attacks on tribal schools and tribal leaders especially in Mindanao. annual report, the group noted that 30 activists were killed in 2018 alone, while 48 were killed the year before.The report also raised alarm over what it described as the "criminalization" of civil cases to stifle environmental activism and the defense of land rights.Among the countries with the highest overall number of recorded deaths were the Philippines (30), followed by Colombia (24), India (23) and Brazil (20).Philippine human rights group Karapatan has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to immediately conduct an investigation into the killings of land rights and environmental activists.
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