Ill treatment of detainee flagged

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The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has flagged the government’s ill treatment of a detained activist whose child had died while she was in jail.

Accused Reina Mae Nasino is still being tried and “should not be subjected to any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement on Friday.

The government has a duty to respect people’s dignity and value as human beings, in line with United Nations standards, she added.

“CHR through its Investigation Office is currently looking into Nasino’s case, also considering that there are allegations that her detention is a form of harassment due to her human rights work,” Ms. de Guia said.

Ms. Nasino, charged with illegally possessing firearms and explosives, was initially given three days to visit her daughter’s wake and burial.

A Manila court later cut her furlough to three hours daily for two days after the jail warden said they did not have enough staff to accompany her.

Kapatid, a support group of family and friends of political prisoners, said the burial of Ms. Nasino’s three-month old daughter had been heavily guarded by police .

The court earlier rejected her plea to be allowed to take care of her daughter at the hospital or prison nursery until she turned a year old.

The human rights commission noted that under United Nations rules for the treatment of women prisoners, decisions to allow children to stay with their mothers in prison should be for the children’s best interest.

“However, until the last moment, three-month-old baby River was kept away from her mother,” it said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas