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UN rights official to investigate political murders in Philippines

[JURIST] The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] announced Tuesday that UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions [official website] Philip Alston [NYU Law profile] will go to the Philippines next week to investigate political murders in the country. Alston will report his conclusions to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST profile]. According to the Philippines human rights group Karapatan [official website], more than 830 political activists, human-rights workers, trade union officials, lawyers and judges have been murdered throughout the country since President Arroyo came to power in 2001.

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo [official website; BBC profile] appointed an independent commission [press release; JURIST report] in August 2006 to investigate "the series of extrajudicial killings of journalists [Reporters without Borders 2006 annual report] and militant activists in the country." Amnesty International [advocacy website] has called on the Philippines to investigate the killings [AI report] and resolve "a continuing failure by the authorities to act with due diligence in investigating and prosecuting such violations." AFP has more.

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