Dec 3, 2020 @ 18:42

Groups seek peasant leader Amanda Echanis’ immediate release

Human rights groups on Thursday called on the government to allow the release of peasant leader Amanda Echanis – daughter of slain activist Randall “Randy” Echanis – who was arrested by authorities in a raid in Baggao, Cagayan.

Anakpawis Cagayan Valley chairman Isabelo Adviento condemned the arrest of Echanis and said he was a target of the government’s red tagging.

On the other hand, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay called for the release of Echanis whom she described as a “good child who does not deserve to be treated like that.”

Atty. Maria Sol Taule of Karapatan lamented the arrest of Echanis and appealed to the government to treat activists, particularly women and children, well.

“Ano ba ang contempt ng government na ito sa mga babae? Sa mga ina? Sa mga sanggol?” she said.

Anakpawis said Echanis was arrested and charged for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, the usual charge against activists.

The alert said Amanda was arrested with her 1-month-old son.

Echanis is currently detained in Camp Adduro in Tuguegarao.

Her arrest comes in the middle of an intensifying government campaign against activists, and sustained red-tagging of progressive groups even from President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

Echanis is the organizer in Cagayan province of Amihan, an advocacy group pushing for rights of small farmers and peasant women. She is also the daughter of peace consultant Randy Echanis, who was killed in his home in August.#

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