Friday, March 17, 2006

Human rights complaint filed vs Arroyo before UN

lagot ka gloria. mananagot ka sa international community. magsumbong ka na kay Bush.

Human rights complaint filed vs Arroyo before UN
First posted 02:55pm (Mla time) Mar 17, 2006

A HUMAN rights violation complaint has been filed against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo before the United Nations and a Swiss-based rights organization for the alleged "illegal arrest and arbitrary detention" of Anakpawis party-list Representative Crispin Beltran, a spokesman for the complainant said.

Lawyer Neri Javier Colmenares of the Council for Defense of Liberties (CODAL) said the complaint was filed before the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) and the Working Group for Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) in Switzerland.

Colmenares said the President allegedly violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international human rights laws for the "illegal arrest and arbitrary detention" of Beltran.

Colmenares said according to the CODAL complaint, Beltran was arrested on the basis of his political beliefs using a case that was dismissed 21 years ago.

"Representative Beltran remains in custody despite the absence of any judicial order for his detention. In fact, he was ordered released by a Quezon City RTC on 13 March 2006," Colmenares said.

"No person can be detained merely because a case or information has been filed against him or her. There must be a warrant or an Order of Commitment issued by a court to make such detention legal," Colmenares said.

CODAL also urged the UN to:

• Express concern over the arbitrary arrest and continued detention of Representative Beltran and threats of warrantless arrests against other members of the opposition;
• Urge President Arroyo and Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Arturo Lomibao to desist from conducting warrantless arrests against known opposition personalities from people’s organizations, and process their arrests through a judicially issued warrant;
• Immediately send a special rapporteur to investigate the case of Beltran and submit a report to the UN.
• Request the release of Beltran pending investigation.

Beltran has been in detention at the Camp Crame police headquarters since his arrest on February 25, a day after Arroyo declared a state of national emergency to quell a rebellion against her.

Aside from Beltran, five of his party-list colleagues are also facing arrest for their alleged involvement in the alleged left- and right-wing conspiracy to oust Arroyo.

At the same time, a separate complaint was also filed against Arroyo before the UN Human Rights Committee for the alleged summary execution of activists Eden Marcellana, Choy Napoles, Benjaline Hernandez, and Eddie Gumanoy.

The complaint was received by Marcus Schmidt head of the Petitions Unit of the UNHRC and was immediately transmitted to Pierre del Prado of the WGAD.

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