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Action: Call for volunteers: National tour for the disappeared in the Philippines

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Dear GMA Watch Members and Supporters,

Starting March 1, 2008, Edith Burgos, a the mother of missing Filipino farmer activist Jonas Burgos, will be the United States for a multi-city national speaking tour on the state of human rights in the Philippines. Sponsored by GMA WATCH, the tour’s main objective will be to raise the level of human rights advocacy for the Philippines from the United States, from the telling words of the families of the victims themselves.

GMA WATCH is appealing to you and other supporters in the U.S. for help in making this tour a success. You can help by publicizing the tour especially if you are in a city where Edith will be stopping. If you have media experience, you can help us to get coverage in local, national, and international media for events and for the human rights issues projected. You can volunteer to lend administrative support. Or you can make a donation to help us cover the costs of the tour.

Please find the schedule below. To offer your help or to ask about events in a specific city, please reply to this e-mail.

Edith Burgos National Tour Schedule
March 1-3 New York City, NY/NJ
March 4-5 Minneapolis, MN
March 6-9 Washington, DC/VA
March 10-12 Seattle,WA
March 13-16 Bay Area/Sacramento, CA
March 17 Los Angeles, CA
March 18 New York, NY

Short description of Jonas Burgos’ Case

Jonas Burgos, 36, is also an agriculturist who advocated for farmers’ rights in the Philippines and is affiliated with the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement in the Philippines). He is the son of the late press freedom fighter and staunch anti-Martial Law advocate Jose Burgos, founder of the popular We Forum and Malaya newspapers in the Philippines.

Jonas was reportedly abducted by elements of the Philippine military in April 2007 in Quezon City. His case has become one of the highest profile politically motivated abduction cases in the Philippines today. Military authorities have been directed by the Court of Appeals, through the writ of amparo, to disclose the whereabouts of the missing agriculturist. To date, however, his entire family continues to be politically harassed for their advocacy efforts, while Edith has gone to the UNHRC in Geneva and other institutions appealing for international support and intervention on behalf of victims of forced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations.