Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Philippine fishermen file complaints with U.N. against China

Philippine fishermen file complaints with U.N. against China

Manila, June 24 (CNA) Fishermen from the Philippines filed complaints with the United Nations against China Wednesday over what they described as "massive and open invasion of human rights by China's law enforcement authorities" in the disputed South China Sea.
Harry Roque, a human rights lawyer, told local media that he has, on behalf 38 fishermen from the provinces of Zambales and Masinloc, filed the complaints with Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Hilal Elver, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Right to Food.
The action by the fishermen is a follow-up to an official move by Manila two years ago to ask for international arbitration of the disputes over the sovereignty of the South China Sea, which is claimed fully or in part by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.
In January 2013, Manila sought international arbitration of its dispute with China, questioning the validity of the "nine-dash demarcation line" drawn by China, and in March the following year submitted a 4,000-page letter of appeal to the international arbitration court, which China refused to attend.
According to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, China's "nine-dash demarcation line" territorial claim over the entire South China Sea is against international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The complaints this time focus on the human rights issue by mentioning several cases in which Chinese coast guard vessels have dispersed Philippine fishing boats in waters around the Scarborough Shoal. In at least one of the cases, the Chinese vessels blasted the fishermen with strong water cannons and rammed their fishing boats.
Roque said that along with the complaints, the fishermen also submitted videos and other evidence and asked the U.N to proclaim that China has infringed upon the rights to life and food of the Philippine people.
Scarborough Shoal is about 124 miles from Zambales Province, but 472 miles from China's Hainan Province.
The Philippines has also been seeking the support of the United States and Japan in the disputes, especially the ones involving China. (By Emerson Lim and Bear Lee)


Updated : 2021-06-18 07:42 GMT+08:00