Human Rights group seeks judicial remedy for Philippine torture victims

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Map of the Philippines

The Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission or AHRC appealed to the Philippines government to seriously pursue judicial options against victims of torture in the country.

The AHRC press statement was issued as part of the commemoration of the United Nations' International Day in Support of Victims of Torture calendared every June 26.

AHRC is a regional non-governmental organization monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984

The statement claimed that the Philippines Constitution specifically prohibits torture but there was no specific law against it, The group also lamented that, "there no judicial remedy for a violation of this right, torture has also not been declared a crime in the Philippines."

An appeal was also conveyed to the Supreme Court to plan and implement remedies for torture victims and appealed to the country's law makers to enact a law specifically banning and criminilizing any acts of torture.

AHRC compared the Philippines to Sri Lanka, wherein both countries are signatories to the Convention against Torture Act of 1994 of the United Nations.

The group cited that, "Sri Lanka has already complied with its obligation under the convention, the Philippines, which has signed and ratified the same U.N. convention against torture, has not done so despite being a party to the convention since June 1987."