Karapatan and Anakbayan denounced the recent deportation of Filipino-Swiss youth activist Edna Becher by the Marcos Jr. regime. Becher was held up by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) upon arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last 8 December. The BI cited a supposed government intelligence report as basis for deporting the activist. She was briefly detained at the airport and was forced to board the next flight back to her country of origin.
Authorities have accused Becher of participating in protest actions against the US-Marcos regime, specifically for attending protests in Switzerland during the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines and during the visit of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Becher went to the Philippines to reunite with her family and friends and to see for herself the poverty and repression suffered by her compatriots.
Karapatan and Anakbayan stressed that Becher’s deportation, the first under the Marcos Jr. regime, is political repression and violates her freedom of association and movement. It is appalling, the human rights group said, that her deportation happened days before the commemoration of International Human Rights Day.
Anakbayan, a militant youth group in the Philippines which has several active chapters abroad, said criminalizing participation in protests against the US-Marcos regime, in the Philippines and abroad, is political repression.
“Edna Becher is a known youth leader in Europe and has been at the forefront of the fight against human rights violations and political repression,” Anakbayan said.
“The Marcos regime is actively barring individuals from abroad to see the dire social realities of Philippine society. It is desperately silencing youth in the Philippines and abroad by any means possible. However, the fact remains – Filipinos continue to migrate abroad due to the lack of decent jobs, social services, and livable wages in the country,” the group emphasized.