Displaced Moro Muslims killed by Philippine army: Amnesty
Dozens of people displaced people by the governement attacks on Moro region have either been abducted or killed by the Philippine military.
Dozens of people displaced people by the governement attacks on Moro region in southern Philippines have either been abducted or killed by the military on claim of suspected links with Muslim fighters, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
The London-based rights watchdog said there were reports the military had labeled displaced communities on Mindanao island as potential rebel bases and was targeting them.
"There is an alarming level of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture among internally displaced people in the south," Aurora Parong, Amnesty International's head in the Philippines, told reporters.
"We fear that these displaced communities would become more vulnerable to attacks because they were labeled as enemy reserve forces by the military," she added.
She also said that IDP faced risk enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests, displacement and burning and destruction of their homes.
The independent human rights watchdog described the conflict on Mindanao island as "having the highest number of new internally displaced persons worldwide" with more than 750,000 people forced out of their homes in the last 17 months of government offensive against Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Muslim-dominated Moro region.
Last month, the two sides agreed on a truce to allow the displaced people to return to their homes and farms. The two sides also agreed to resume formal talks to end 40 years of conflict that has killed 120,000 people.
An estimated 100 rights abuse cases had been reported in the areas sheltering the displaced people, Parong said, adding Amnesty International had documented cases of farmers being tortured on suspicion they were rebels.
Torture inflicted on residents was in various forms, like electrocution of genitals and beatings with rifle butts, she said.
"Many displaced people, as of the end of July 2009, have still been unable to go back to their villages. They live in fear and uncertainty in overcrowded camps, with their relatives, or in makeshift shelters on roadsides.
"Unable to tend to their farms, they have become dependent on food rations and other aid. For many large families the food rations are not enough, and family members have been forced to go back to their villages to forage for food or something to sell, risking their lives in the process."
Filipino military launched an offensive in Moro region later since August, 2008, when Supreme Court cancelled an agreement, signed between the Philippine government and MILF.
After four decades of armed conflict between the Filipino state and the Moro Muslims, the two parties agreed to sign an agreement that would end battle. However, the supreme court of the Philippine declared the agreement "illegal" on August 4, which caused the conflict to resume.
Agencies Last Mod: 26 Ağustos 2009, 10:53