“The UN body holding sessions at Palais des Nations heard how Rosal did not receive proper, immediate and adequate maternal and pre-natal care due to the insensitivity and negligence of prison officials and guards, endured and continues to suffer inhumane treatment together with 31 other women detainees who shared her cramped and squalid cell.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — A delegation of Filipino human rights defenders brought the case of Andrea Rosal before the 26th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“Speaking on behalf of Palabay, Atty. Mary Kristerie Baleva of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines delivered a succinct yet vivid oral statement on the floor in the presence of various State Missions, international NGOs and UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) officers and staff disclosing the violations suffered by Filipino women detainees. She highlighted the case of political prisoner Andrea Rosal, who was seven months pregnant when she was arrested and detained in March on the basis of dubious charges,” the Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights (EcuVoice) said.
Rosal, daughter of the late spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, was arrested on Mar. 27 and charged with kidnapping and murder.
Then seven-month pregnant Rosal was detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, where, she said in media interviews, was denied due medical attention, had to sleep on the floor, among other difficulties.
She gave birth to Diona Andrea at the Philippine General Hospital on May 17, 2014. The baby, however, died the following day due to oxygen deficiency. Rosal, during the wake of her daughter, said her baby would have never suffered such fate if only she was not arrested and deprived of due medical attention during the last months of her pregnancy.
On July 12, 2014, Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation and human rights group Karapatan responded to the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
“The UN body holding sessions at Palais des Nations heard how Rosal did not receive proper, immediate and adequate maternal and pre-natal care due to the insensitivity and negligence of prison officials and guards, endured and continues to suffer inhumane treatment together with 31 other women detainees who shared her cramped and squalid cell. Still under detention, Rosal gave birth to a daughter, who died within two days,” the Ecuvoice said in a statement.
Ecuvoice said Rosal was hastily whisked back by prison officials to Camp Bagong Diwa on June 4 despite the absence of any medical clearance from her attending doctors.
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Rosal’s counsel, has earlier described her forcible and sudden transfer as a case of deception and misrepresentation.
“The statement publicly asked the UN body and its pertinent mechanisms to look into the case of Rosal for multiple violations of the 1955 UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners and the 2010 UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules),” Ecuvoice said.
The UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offender, also known as the Bangkok Rules, stipulates that women have specific needs and that adequate attention shall be paid to them. Newly arrived women prisoners shall be provided with facilities to contact their relatives; access to legal advice…”
Progressive groups supporting Rosal said she received none.