UNHRC Urges RP to ‘Completely Eliminate’ Tortures, Slays; As RP report is adopted by UN rights body

The states that had signed but had yet to ratify the Protocol as of end-April 2007 were Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Chile, Cyprus, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Montenegro, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Togo and Turkey.

States that have neither signed nor ratified the OPCAT include Australia, China, Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, and the U.S.

Logar also recommended that the Philippine government report regularly to the UN Committee Against Torture.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Terry Cormier called on the Philippine government to ensure that security forces are trained on human rights and on their responsibility to protect human rights and human rights defenders.

It was Cormier who, on April 11, expressed concern about the impunity surrounding the perpetrators of human rights. “Canada is encouraged that the Philippine authorities have expressed their commitment to end extrajudicial killings, but remains concerned that there may have been few convictions,” Cormier had said.

Canada is one of the Philippines’ major aid donors, based on data from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Aside from Canada, the U.S., Japan, Australia, and the European Union are also identified by AusAID as major aid donors to the Philippines.

The UNHRC is set to prepare its final report during its 8th session, which will take place in June.

In a press statement, the Philippine UPR Watch, a coalition formed to observe the UPR deliberations on the Philippines, urged the UNHRC to be “constructively critical” especially in preparing its final report.

“In the name of the victims of all forms of human right violations, we entreat the UNHRC to put to task the Philippine government for its responsibility and culpability,” said the members of the Philippine UPR Watch in their statement.

“The Philippine UPR watch reiterates its call that the Philippine government is unworthy of a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council. The responsibility of the state to protect every citizen continues to be totally negated with repressive government policies under the guise of the war on terrorism that curtail legitimate dissent.”

The Philippine UPR Watch sent a six-member delegation to Geneva, headed by Fr. Rex Reyes, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. The other members are Karapatan secretary-general Marie Hilao-Enriquez, International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) president Edre Olalia; Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Teddy Casiño; Jonathan Sta. Rosa, brother of slain Methodist pastor Isaias Sta. Rosa; and Dr. Edita Burgos, mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos. (Bulatlat.com)

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