News in Pictures | Groups call to free all political prisoners, end torture – Bulatlat

June 27, 2024

Photo by Zysa Mei Elloran


MANILA – Torture survivors and former political prisoners held a protest in front of the Department of Justice in Manila during the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26, 2024, demanding anew the release of all political prisoners, and a stop to torture.

“Those political prisoners are ordinary citizens like us – farmers, workers, Indigenous People, marginalized, women, elders. There are also young people who were arrested and imprisoned based on fabricated cases, planted evidence, and who have been suffering from torture in prison,” Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) said during the protest.

SELDA said there are currently 27 documented victims of torture under the Marcos Jr. Administration and 700 political prisoners in the country.

Photo by Zysa Mei Elloran

Torture is prohibited in detention under the Republic Act No. 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.

The group SELDA called for the immediate release of Cebu-based labor activist Ernesto Jude Rimando, who was arrested in January 2021 after seeking treatment for liver cirrhosis and sepsis.

Rimando is suffering from stage 4 liver cirrhosis and other serious illnesses such as tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia. He is presently confined at the Philippine General Hospital.

Photo by Zysa Mei Elloran

KADAMAY, as well, called for the release of two youth activists, John Griefen Arlegui and Reynaldo Remias Jr. while KATRIBU called for the release of Rocky Torres and Avellardo Avellanida.

“Torture always occurs in Philippines’ prison and detention facilities. Inmates suffer due to high rates of congestion, poor quality of food, and difficult access to safe drinking water, and sanitation facilities, which often lead to physical illnesses and mental health problems,” SELDA said.

SELDA condemns the practice of torture in prisons and demands justice for all victims of torture, unjust detention, and the release of all political prisoners. (RTS, RVO)

Photo by Zysa Mei Elloran

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