[Press Release] Rights Groups run to challenge Security Sector: Declare in words and deeds torture free detention centers

Rights Groups run to challenge Security Sector: Declare in words and deeds torture free detention centers

More than 600 people participate in the annual Basta Run Against Torture in time for the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture today, June 26, 2012. Now in its 6th year, anti-torture advocates challenged the security sector to declare torture free detention centers in words and in deeds.

“This year’s BRAT aims to bridge the gap between the commitments and policies on one hand and practices on the other of the security sector and other government agencies with respect to the issue of torture. It hopes to exact the commitment of AFP, PNP and BJMP to declare their places of detention as torture free and stand firm on their commitment.” Joy Lascano of Balay Rehabilitation Center, representative of UATC said in a statement.

The United Against Torture Coalition (UATC), a network of anti-torture advocates engages the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to publicly announce their commitment to proclaim a policy of complete prohibition of torture in all places of detention.

Lascano of UATC further said that, “Three years after the enactment of the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, only a handful of cases have been filed. The attempt to prosecute perpetrators is fraught with difficulties due to a lack of transparency from the security sector and the unfamiliarity of prosecutors and judges about the law on torture. None of these cases have seen a just resolution.”

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), also a member of UATC on the other hand documented 23 cases with 40 victims of torture under the P-Noy administration (as of May 2012). According to the group, the data shows that practice of torture on the ground still persists
while no one get punished.

BRAT 6 was participated by Amnesty International-Philippines, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Medical Action Group (MAG), Balay Rehabilitation Center, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the #rememberML@40 campaign committee.

Also present are CHR, PHRC, DILG, DOJ, PNP, AFP and BJMP.

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