Karapatan warns vs possible reprisals on political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino

Karapatan today cautioned the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology on “taking any form of reprisal against political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino, after her cruel and inhuman treatment in the hands of jail and police personnel during the wake and funeral of her daughter, Baby River.” 

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that the human rights group is concerned that “since officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government seem oblivious to criticisms on the harsh treatment on Nasino and her family, we can’t help but sound the alarm and call for continued vigilance on her case.” 

The group also received reports that Nasino is on a 21-day quarantine period inside prison, despite COVID-19 protocols of the World Health Organization and the Department of Health mandating only 14 days. 

“She is alone and isolated, without any other fellow detainee with her for a longer period of time, making her vulnerable to jail officers, who are the only ones who may have direct physical access to her. Even UN independent experts have opined that more than 15 days of solitary confinement amounts to torture,” Palabay stated. 

“Let us not forget that it was these prison officers who moved for a shortened furlough of Nasino, from 72 hours initially granted by the court to a mere 6 hours, for the wake and funeral of her baby. These are the same prison officers who unduly kept her handcuffs on most of the time during her brief furlough; it was them who tried to take Nasino back to jail and shorten her stay during her baby’s wake and it was them who swarmed her during the funeral,” she added. 

“It is difficult to trust that these officers will ensure Nasino’s rights and welfare while in jail, when they have repeatedly violated these rights in the past weeks. Any form of reprisal, including forms of psychological torture and intimidation, against Nasino would be unacceptable,” Palabay concluded.