Dear Colleagues,

The Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP-UK) was set up in London in 2006 as a UK based group of concerned citizens, following increased reports of human rights violations in the Philippines. CHRP works closely with other human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and is a member of the International Coordination Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP).

CHRP is currently working with a number of British Members of Parliament following the revelation that the UK has exported around £ 150,000 worth of electronic surveillance equipment to the Philippines government last July 2017, including IMSI-Catchers, which are used to eavesdrop on telephone conversations, and surveillance tools to monitor internet activity.

EU regulations on arms exports do not allow the sale of equipment, which can be used for the purposes of internal repression, to countries where the United Nations has established that human rights violations are taking place.

We have an urgent need to gather as much evidence as possible which may exist of electronic surveillance of legitimate civil society organisations by the agencies of the Philippine government. This will be used in the UK Parliament to help challenge the legality of these exports and stop further sale to the Philippines. This challenge will also serve to bring UK public attention to the grave levels of human rights violations and political repression currently taking place in the Philippines.

We are aware that by its nature electronic surveillance is often remote and invisible. Therefore, we are also interested in any strong suspicions you may have based on specific instances which could only be explained by the electronic monitoring of telephone conversations or emails or other internet based communications.

Please could you let us know by 20 April 2018 any of the following (please email responses to info@chrp.org.uk or secretary@chrp.org.uk):

  1. Has your organisation ever found any material evidence of the electronic surveillance of your members or your organisation’s activities (e.g. electronic trackers in vehicles, bugging devices in offices, meeting rooms or in telephones)? If so please give us as much detail as possible, including:
  • A description of the surveillance devices
  • the circumstances in which you became aware of them (when? where? how?)
  • the effects on your organisation and its activities 
  1. Has your organisation had any reason to believe that it has been put under electronic surveillance? If so please give us as much detail as possible, including,
  • The particular circumstances/events (including dates and places) that led you to suspect that electronic surveillance was taking place
  • The specific factors that made you conclude that electronic surveillance was the most likely explanation for what had occurred
  • The most likely form of electronic surveillance suspected (phone tapping, interception of emails and/or other forms of internet based communication.
  • The effects of this on your organisation and its activities

Many thanks for your cooperation on this.

Yours in solidarity,

CHRP-UK