Anti-terrorism bill could aggravate tortures in jails, CHR warns

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 26) - With reports that torture still persist inside jails, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) warned that the new anti-terrorism bill could aggravate abuses among inmates.

“Considering the already dire situation in jails, the proposed Anti-Terror Act could further regress efforts on torture prevention,” said CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia in a statement for the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

She said some provisions in the controversial measure are prone to abuse and must be amended.

“Provisions in the Act that allow arrest of individuals without judicial warrant and prolonged period of detention without charges may endanger the rights of the accused to due process and make them vulnerable to cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment,” De Guia said.

“We reiterate call for the amendment of these provisions that are prone to abuse,” she added.

The new anti-terrorism bill is just awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte's signature before it becomes a law.

The measure is currently under review by the presidential legal team.