26 April 2010
Even behind bars, political prisoners from different parts of the country are expressing their solidarity with the continuing struggle of the 43 health workers for justice and respect for civil and political rights.
Political prisoners from Compostela Valley, Cagayan de Oro, Tagum in Davao del Sur, Ozamis City, Oroquieta, Dipolog, Samar, Cebu, San Fernando Provincial Jail in Pampanga, Camp Crame in Quezon City, and the National Bilibid Prison join the nationwide call for fasting to demand for the immediate transfer of the 43 health workers to Camp Crame.
By refusing to eat their daily meal rations, the political prisoners including the health workers detained at Camp Capinpin show their indignation and rage on the AFP’s disobedience to CHR summons and their failed transfer to Camp Crame.
According to the FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS! Alliance, families and colleagues call for the health workers’ immediate transfer to Camp Crame because of the continuing mental and physical torture that the detainees suffer in Camp Capinpin. Families of the health workers also suffer harassment and intimidation by AFP personnel. Visiting hours are irrationally strict and limited only to members of the immediate family. The detainees’ doctors of choice are not even allowed within the Camp’s premises.
The alliance furthered that such irrational restrictions of the AFP are against Republic Act 7438 or the Rights of Person Arrested, Detained, or Under Custodial Investigation as well as the Duties of the Arresting, Detaining and Investigating Officers. Hence, the demand for immediate transfer to the PNP custodial facility in Quezon City.
If the AFP and PNP will not heed the courts on the order for transfer of detention, the group pledged that political prisoners all over the country, relatives and supporters will go on a hunger strike until their demands are met.
The health workers, families, and supporters began their fasting on April 17 and will continue until the health workers are transferred to Camp Crame. The fasting center is at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.
References: Dr. Julie Caguiat, Spokesperson
Phillip Paraan, Media Officer