August 22, 2011
Contact: Kuusela Hilo
Justice for Melissa Roxas Campaign
What: Justice for Melissa Press Conference; Appeal to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Where: Immanuel Presbyterian Church
3300 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010
When: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 6 PM – 7 PM
*** PHOTO OPPORTUNITY ***
Los Angeles, CA. In commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared, Melissa Roxas, a torture survivor who was disappeared for six days at the hands of the Philippine military, will file an official appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Professor Juan Mendez to help remove roadblocks to her pursuit of justice. Working with a team of world-renowned international human rights lawyers who have joined the Justice for Melissa Roxas campaign, Roxas will ask the Rapporteur to call on the Philippine government to fully disclose all information regarding Roxas’ case, cooperate with investigations, pursue charges against those responsible for her abduction and torture, and extend an invitation to the Rapporteur to conduct a visit to the Philippines to investigate the human rights situation.
On Thursday evening, human rights defenders and survivors of human rights violations from different countries will join Roxas for a special press conference to shed light on the continuing impunity in the Philippines and hope for justice for all victims of torture and disappearance worldwide. Victoria Don, Esq., Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris Hoffman & Harrison, LLP; Julie Gutman, Executive Director of Program for Torture Victims; Marvyn Perez, survivor of torture from Guatemala; and Rev. David Farley, United Methodist Church, with the Justice for Melissa campaign, will be featured speakers for this press conference.
In May 2009, while doing community health work in the Philippines, Roxas became the first American citizen under the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration to be abducted and tortured by members of the Philippine military. When she surfaced six days later, Roxas became one of only a handful of survivors who lived to recount her ordeal.
BAYAN USA, GABRIELA USA, Program for Torture Victims (PTV), Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC), Habi Arts, Sisters of Gabriela Awaken, Filipino Migrant Center, San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Babae San Francisco, Anakbayan San Diego, Anakbayan Los Angeles and other organizations are co-sponsoring this Justice for Melissa Press Conference.