Tag Archives: victims of torture

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


On June 27, join Amnesty International Philippines
in Basta Run Against Torture (BRAT)!

The United Nations International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture (IDSVT) is commemorated around the world on the 26th of June every year. This year, Amnesty International, will 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.

In solidarity with torture victims-survivors, and with the call for justice around the globe, Amnesty International Philippines together with the United Against Torture Coalition invites you to Basta Run Against Torture (BRAT). In its 9th run this year, BRAT will be joined by
government agencies tasked in the implementation and the promotion of the Anti-Torture Law.

To be led by torture victim survivors from different presidential eras, BRAT IX will carry the slogan “KRIMEN ANG TORTURE!”.


June 27 (Saturday) | 7:00am – 9:00am
Assembly Time: 6:30am
Assembly Venue: In Front of the Commission on Human Rights Office
(Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City)
*The Run will start at exactly 7:00am.

Participants are asked to wear BLUE shirts in accordance to the event motif.

Please confirm your attendance on or before June 26, 12:00nn.

This event is FREE and OPEN TO ALL.

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[Press Release] Make Philippines Torture Free Zone! -UATC

Make Philippines Torture Free Zone!



uatc logo

On its seventh year, as it marks the June 26 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, members of the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC)-Philippines and various anti-torture advocates runs in the “Basta! Run Against Torture 7” (BRAT VII) to call on the government to make the Philippines a Torture Free Zone.

To make the Philippines a torture free zone, the UATC said “among others we need to ensure that all authorities including jail staff are fully aware of the Anti-Torture Law that reported violations will not be tolerated and will be investigated, and that perpetrators will be prosecuted.”

“While we laud the government on the enactment of the Anti-Torture Law (Republic Act No. 9745) in November 2009, but it has so far been implemented without diligence and effectiveness since many torture allegations have not been effectively investigated by authorities and detainees who are in custody do not have immediate access to legal and medical services,” Ernesto Anasarias, Executive Director of Balay Rehabilitation Center and UATC spokesperson said.

While noting that many agencies have a mandate to investigate complaints of torture and ill-treatment, the UATC is concerned at the high number of complaints of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, the limited number of investigations carried out by the government in such cases, and the very limited number of convictions in those cases which are investigated.

The group reiterates its concerns on the increasing complaints in relation to the implementation of the Anti-Torture Law which has revealed various different deficiencies from documentation, investigation to prosecution of torture cases, which embolden perpetrators in doing acts of torture.

“The authorities’ partiality not to comply with the Anti-Torture Law runs in the ‘institutional impunity’ we have right now. Take the recent case where Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim including a senior police officer, interrogated a rape suspect in full view of the public, as Mayor Lim extracted a confession and forced the suspect to admit he had raped a woman, clearly violated the Anti-Torture Law,” Max de Mesa, Chairperson of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) claimed.

The group underscored the necessity that for the government to make the Philippines a torture free zone, it should publicly announce a clear policy of “total elimination” of all acts of torture.

The UATC-Philippines is led by Amnesty International-Philippines, Balay Rehabilitation Center, Medical Action Group (MAG) and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP). Other human rights groups also joined the run like PAHRA and Organisation Mondiale Contra la Torture (OMCT) or World Organization Against Torture.-end

[Statement] “Zero Dark Thirty” is a gross offense to victims of torture -APT

Statement: “Zero Dark Thirty” is a gross offense to victims of torture
January 11, 2013

APT“Zero Dark Thirty” is a Hollywood dramatisation of the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden. A central claim in the film is that the intelligence which led the CIA to bin Laden’s hideout was obtained as a result of torture.

US Senators, CIA veterans, former Guantanamo guards and prisoners, and even the CIA itself in an unusual public comment, have stated that this is not what happened. The use of torture did not lead to any critical information which helped find the al-Qaida leader. The main result of the torture has instead been deep suffering and further poisoning of societies.
The film director, Kathryn Bigelow, has repeated that ”Zero Dark Thirty” is fiction and not a documentary. Nevertheless, the introduction of the film states that it is “based on first-hand accounts of actual events”. This leaves the audience with the false impression that torture, as presented in the film, can be effective and even necessary to combat an unknown enemy in times of national threat.
Why we are worried about this film:

“Zero Dark Thirty” exploits the anxiety and fear that took root after the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001. The film is a version of the thought experiment commonly known as the “Ticking Bomb Scenario” (“suppose that the perpetrator of an imminent terrorist attack would disclose the information needed to prevent the attack only if he is tortured”). The “Ticking Bomb Scenario” creates suspense and is therefore appealing to script writers and producers. What we must remember is that it is created to manipulate emotional reactions. The scenario justifies torture as serving a greater good, and makes our sympathies fall on the perpetrator, not on the victim.

Mass media and the entertainment industry have great powers to influence perceptions and values. As a possible Oscar winner, “Zero Dark Thirty” will be seen by millions of people all over the world. By justifying – and glorifying – the use of torture it represents a gross offence to the victims of torture and to the global anti-torture movement.

Torture is absolutely prohibited in international law. It is one of the worst offences a State can commit against persons under its care. But we are again reminded that there is still a long way to go before it is universally rejected, like genocide and slavery.

Therefore, if you see the film just remember these simple facts about torture:

Torture is always wrong. It not only deeply wounds the victims, many of whom may be innocent of any crime; it has a toxic effect on the societies that tolerate it.

Torture is illegal. It is a crime punishable by severe penalties wherever in the world it is committed. There are no exceptions to the absolute prohibition of torture in international law, such as conflict or instability.

Torture is an ineffective and unreliable means to obtain information. It has often been observed that tortured victims will say anything just to get the pain to end. And even if the information obtained were the truth, there is no way to know if it is accurate, making it absolutely worthless as an interrogative tool. And such acts would still be wrong and illegal.


[From the web] DOJ Secretary Leila M. de Lima’s Speech On the Occasion of the Ceremonial Signing of MOA Between the DOJ, PNP and MAG -www.magph.com

DOJ Secretary Leila M. de Lima‘s Speech
On the Occasion of the Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement Between
the Department of Justice, Philippine National Police and the Medical Action Group

November 15, 2012
Department of Justice
Padre Faura, Manila

English: Cropped from this original upload.

English: Cropped from this original upload. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your Excellency, Stephen Lillie, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Philippines; Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales of the Commission on Human Rights; Police Superintendent Nicanor A. Bartolome of the Philippine National Police; Dr. Petronilo Lenin M. Pascual, Chairperson of the Medical Action Group, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

Legal scholars steep in the study of egregious human rights violations contend that there are four essential tasks of post-authoritarian governments concerned in the healing and reconciliation

of a nation. These are truth, justice, reparation and the exercise of memory!. For the partners in today’s important event, we are assiduously focused on contributing to the establishment of truth and, most importantly, the attainment of justice for the victims of torture and their families.

In the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement, the three (3) collaborating institutions of the Department of Justice, Medical Action Group and the Philippine National Police and its partner agencies will galvanize present efforts to address the unbearable crimes of torture that tragically remains to be present, albeit in diminished scale, in our society.

In the establishment of truth, the MOA will help capacitate our investigators and prosecutors in how to assess, collate, preserve and process physical and medical evidence that should be able to

withstand judicial scrutiny in any jurisdiction. Equipped with the necessary framework, skills, discipline and valuable network of like-minded individuals and institutions, our field officers will be able to package an airtight case that will ensure the dispensation of justice for the victims.

For the prosecutors of the Department of Justice, I give you the directive to actively participate in the creation of a composite, specialized and professionalized team of investigators and prosecutors dealing with all cases of reported torture. Quiet efficiency, integrity and honesty will

be your guideposts in the use of tools and skills that will emanate from the implementation of this Agreement which hopefully will ensure a perfect conviction rate for Complaints and Information filed involving torture. The same aspiration applies to our partner law enforcement agents from the PNP and the NBI. In the area of training and capacity-building, we cannot hope for better trainers than the expert doctors and health professionals of the Medical Action Group (MAG).

We credit MAG for this partnership thank them for their initiative.

I cannot over-emphasize enough our appreciation for the support of the British Embassy and the United Kingdom which has been a veritable light for the civilized world that seems to percolate between rallying indignation and tepid, non-committal response despite the glaring evidence that torturous acts continue to shred every bit of humanity not just of the tortured, but of the torturer. Indeed, the United Kingdom’s anti-torture law has been described “as providing the most comprehensive treatments of the crime of torture.

The Philippine Government is steadily rising to the demand and challenge of its people with a sure-footedness and determination that underscore the present administration’s sincere and honest commitment to promote and fulfill human rights. In fact, the Department is confident that the President will soon sign the proposed Administrative Order creating a high-level, inter-agency committee that will converge strategic partners to oversee and monitor the proper investigation and prosecution of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave human rights violations.

Through this A.O., stakeholders, some of whom are with us today, will be further convinced, if they are not already, that the campaign against grave human rights violations has the personal and direct imprimatur of the President.

The MOA, however important it may be, will not dissipate the great challenges that lie before us. Ultimately, to sustain the fight against torture, we must all have the strength of character to see this through the long haul. In plodding along this difficult and arduous road, I leave you with a quote from one of my most favorite, irrepressible figure of history.

Winston Churchill once said: Success is not final, failure the courage to continue that counts.

Ladies and gentlemen, maraming salamat, pagpala-in tayo ng Panginoon.

Source: http://magph.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120:doj-secretary-leila-m-de-lima-speech&catid=1:news&Itemid=6

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