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Pinoy fishermen file complaint vs Chinese coast guard

INFANTA, Pangasinan, Philippines – A group of Filipino fishermen here yesterday asked the United Nations to stop the Chinese Coast Guard’s human rights violations against them as they were deprived of fishing near the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

The fishermen, represented by lawyers Harry Roque and Gilbert Andres, filed the 27-page petition before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.

The petition, signed by 30 fishermen from Barangay Cato, was sent through e-mail to Zeid Ra’Ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, and Idriss Jazairy, UN Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of the Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights.

The fishermen alleged that China, which controlled Panatag Shoal since a standoff in 2012 with the Philippines, is violating their rights to food and livelihood by driving them away from the shoal.

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