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CHR worried Anti-Terror Act will regress efforts on torture prevention

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is concerned that the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill will exacerbate the jail situation in the country and regress efforts on the prevention of torture.

Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)

Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)

CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the country’s jails are already in a “dire situation. When the Anti-Terrorism Bill takes into full effect, the situation might worsen.”

“Provisions in the Act that allow the arrest of individuals without judicial warrant and prolonged period of detention without charges may endanger the rights of the accused to due process and make them vulnerable to cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment,” she warned.

De Guia is talking about the prolonged detention of an individual for 14 days, extendable for another 10 days, without any judicial warrant and the right to post bail.

She is hoping that the government will amend the provisions that are prone to abuse.

The CHR had earlier urged the government to view the bill “through a human rights lens.” In countering the threats of terrorism, the CHR stressed that it must be done without compromising fundamental rights and freedoms.

Many people have expressed concern over the vague and overbroad definition of “terrorism” in the bill, which makes it difficult to distinguish an actual act of terrorism to that of an ordinary crime.

“This opens the doors for prosecution under the proposed legislation which should only fall within the crimes punishable by the Revised Penal Code or other special laws for ordinary crimes,” the CHR said.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/29/chr-worried-anti-terror-act-will-regress-efforts-on-torture-prevention/)

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