[Event] Basta! Run Against Torture (BRAT XII) -UATC

Basta! Run Against Torture (BRAT XII) -UATC

Torture is abhorrent. Torture is illegal. Yet torture is inflicted on men, women and children in the Philippines and well over half the countries around the world. Despite the universal condemnation of torture, it is still being used openly and secretly using national and international security from acts of terror as justifications for such acts. It is used to extract confession, to interrogate, to punish or to intimidate. While governments condemn terrorist acts, it is also evident that acts of terror are happening inside detention centers and prison cells, on city streets and in remote villages. The cruelty of torturers kills, maims, and leave scars on the body and mind that last a lifetime. The victims of torture are not just people in the hands of the torturers. Friends, families and the wider community all suffer. Torture even damages and distorts and the hopes of future generations.

In the Philippines, in spite of strong provisions enshrined in the Philippine Constitution prohibiting the use of torture, its criminalization as provided for by Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, and the country having been a state party to the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) since 1987 and the Optional Protocol to Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) since 2012, the act remains widely used and accepted today. Only one perpetrator, Police Officer Jerrick Dee, has been convicted of the crime while many others remain “untouched” by the legal system as they continue to operate with impunity.

The concept of the right to be free from torture eludes the Philippine public and disappointingly, government representatives and state security forces as well. Evident of this situation is the now infamous ‘’wheel of torture” found in an alleged ‘torture chamber’ in a police station in Laguna, the parading of suspected criminals in Cebu and Batangas and the threat of using abusive policies as a part of the “all-means-necessary” approach to curb crime and criminality.

This coming June 26, the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC), spearheaded by Amnesty International Philippines (AIPH), Balay Rehabilitation Center (BALAY), Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND), Medical Action Group (MAG), the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP, will once again join the international community to commemorate the UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture and contribute to the global campaign to prevent and stop the practice of torture in all corners of the world as codified in the UNCAT 34 years ago.

While we focus on combating impunity and ensuring accountability of perpetrators and duty bearers, building on safeguards for the prevention of torture and giving importance to the rehabilitation aspects for victims and perpetrators alike, we will also call on the administration to ensure that the right of everyone to be free from torture is fully respected, protected and fulfilled. We will strive to contribute to the fight against anti-repression and shrinking space for the human rights community and pro-democracy forces by tackling the issue of torture and ill-treatment to a higher level beyond the call for the effective implementation of laws and mechanisms. WE WILL DEMAND THE END TO THE PRACTICE OF TORTURE NOW. WE WILL DEMAND TO END ENFORCED DISSAPEARANCES. WE WILL DEMAND TO STOP EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS.

OVER-ARCHING THEMES:
DU30 Govt wala na ngang nagawa, nag torture pa
DU30 Govt zero efforts for victims, maximum tolerance for torturers

Calls:
Itigil ang enforced dissappearances
Itigil ang torture
Itigil ang EJK

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