The Philippines/Australia: Amnesty International urges gov’t to stop ‘harassment’ of foreign activists

August 17, 2018

Rights group Amnesty International called on the Philippine government to respect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly of activists, including non-nationals, days after an elderly Australian professor was expelled from the country.

Gill Boehringer, who was expelled Tuesday, was the latest foreigner ordered out of the Philippines following Australian nun Patricia Fox, who has been fighting deportation since April after earning the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The 84-year-old Australian professor and human rights advocate was blacklisted due to his reported participation in a mass demonstration in 2015. He denied the allegation.

READBlacklisted Australian denies joining 2015 rally, communist ties

His expulsion took place a month after three Methodist missionaries from Malawi, the United States and Zimbabwe left the country after they were ordered to leave by the Bureau of Immigration for supposedly engaging in political activities.

AI feared that the denial of entry to and expulsion of human rights activists might create a negative effect on the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly by foreigners.

“[They] may now decide to reduce their activities in the country for fear of the action the Philippine authorities might take against them,” it said.

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