The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) – the largest, most militant and patriotic voluntary national association of hundreds of human rights lawyers, law students and paralegals in the Philippines- views with deep and profound concern the continuing threats and harassment encountered by our comrade Atty. Mario Joseph by the government of Haiti.
We have known Atty. Mario Joseph as Haiti’s most prominent and steadfast human rights lawyer and an active board member of the Internal Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL). He was present in Manila in 2010 when he attended the Conference of Lawyers in Asia and the Pacific (COLAP) V and has broken bread with us on several issues of mutual concern including peace, human rights, democracy, sovereignty and good governance.
We lament the persecution the brave yet modest Atty. Joseph is subjected to by the Haiti government, like being put under surveillance and threats of unjust arrest, for his human rights advocacy and legal assistance he extends to political dissidents. He was threatened to be arrested without any justifiable and legal basis.
With this, the whole broad NUPL membership – including practitioners, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, law professors, government lawyers, parliamentarians, law students and “foot lawyers”- stand by him and strongly condemns the said acts against Atty. Joseph for being undemocratic and having no place in a free society.
Together with the IADL of which NUPL is an affiliate, as well as with our network and allies in various national and international bar associations, we shall join and support any and all measures in all possible fora to ensure the safety of Mario and his freedom from any kind of political persecution and to protect his person, respect his independence as a lawyer and encourage his advocacy for the protection and promotion of basic democratic rights of the Haitian people and all struggling peoples of the world.
October 3, 2012. Manila, Philippines.
Atty. Edre U. Olalia +639175113373
NUPL Secretary General and Bureau member of the IADL
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