Breastfeeding political prisoner may be separated from baby (Update on Miradel Torres)

APPEAL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION

Breastfeeding political prisoner may be separated from baby

(An Update of the Urgent Alert dated July 25, 2014)

Dear friends,

Please join us in our call for the immediate release of political prisoner Miradel Torres who is currently at the Taguig City Jail-Female Dorm (TCJ-FD) at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

The bond between mother and child is of utmost importance for the interest of the child. In most, if not all circumstances, it is applicable even to mothers languishing in jails and their children.
Miradel Torres, a mother political prisoner who breastfeeds her six-month-old baby inside the jail, is struggling to keep her baby with her.

Facing trumped up charges of murder and frustrated murder, Torres's hopes to be immediately released was crushed when the Infanta Regional Trial Court denied her motion to quash information last April 13, 2015. "From the foregoing testimony of victim - prosecution eyewitness Pfc. Ronald M. Bamba, probable cause exists," the decision of Presiding judge Arnelo C. Mesa said. Pfc. Bamba is a member of the Alpha Company, 16th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

Pfc. Bamba's testimony said members of the New People's Army did a roll call of their comrades involved in an ambush, which Bamba claimed almost killed him. Unbelievably, Pfc. Bamba said he heard more than 20 names and remembered all after several years. However, there was no mention of Torres in the said testimony.

The court's denial meant that Torres and her baby Karl will have to wait the results of the trial—unless they are released on humanitarian grounds.

Last, November 17, 2014, Torres gave birth to her baby at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), on her fifth month of detention. Torres was allowed to stay at the PGH for two months to recover and nurse her baby. On January 2015, Torres was brought back to TCJ with her baby on order of the court.

Fellow women political prisoners are trying hard to make their cells liveable for a baby amidst infectious diseases in jails. Last May 16, Karl was baptized inside the TCJ.

Torres was four months pregnant and suffering from threatened abortion when arrested last June 20, 2014 in Lucena City, Quezon Province. Please check this link for the details of her arrest: https://www.karapatan.org/urgent-appeal-2014-July-Miradel-Torres.

Karapatan also called on the United Nations Sub Committee on the Prevention of Torture to look into the case of Torres and her baby. Please view the statement through this link:

https://www.karapatan.org/Probe+Miradel+Torres%E2%80%99+case,+Karapatan+asks+UN+Sub-comm+on+Prevention+of+Torture

Recommended Action:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

  1. The immediate release of Maria Miradel Torres based on just and humanitarian grounds.
  2. Immediately withdraw the murder and frustrated murder charge against Maria Miradel Torres.
  3. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to observe  the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders
  4. The Philippine Government to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major human rights instruments that it is a party and signatory to.
  5. To stop political persecution, illegal arrests, detention of perceived enemies of the Philippine Government.

 

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: op@president.gov.ph

Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I, Emerald Avenue, Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: osnd@philonline.com, dnd.opla@gmail.com

Atty. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-1908
Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.211/214
Fax: (+632) 523-9548
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com, lmdelima.doj2@gmail.com

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com, lorettann@gmail.com

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
National Office
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org; karapatan@karapatan.org
Website: www.karapatan.org

 

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