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NZ Groups Call for Justice in Prisons in the Philippines

21 May 2014

NZ Groups Call for Unconditional Release of Andrea Rosal and all Political Prisoners, Prison and Military Authorities must be held accountable for Baby Diona’s Death

New Zealand Philippine Solidarity groups are distressed by the death of baby Diona Rosal, the daughter of political prisoner Andrea Rosal. Baby Diona died aged two days old on May 18th due to hypoxemia, a deficiency of oxygen in the blood.

“The inhumane conditions of Andrea’s detention are likely to have contributed to this tragedy. At the time of her arrest, Andrea was due for a pre-natal check but was not granted adequate medical or pre-natal care while in custody. This is in direct conflict with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners which states for pregnant prisoners ‘there shall be special accommodation for all necessary pre-natal and post-natal care and treatment,’” Cameron Walker, Spokesperson of Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS) lamented.

“Rosal was held in a 5x10 metre cell with 31 other inmates at the Philippine National Police’s Camp Bagong Diwa in Manila, hardly suitable conditions for an expectant mother,” Walker continued.

TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE: Death of Baby and Continuing Detention of Andrea

“Two months ago Andrea lost her freedom and now she lost her baby. It would be a travesty of justice to keep Andrea in illegal detention on trumped-up charges.”

“We call on Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to heed the appeal for immediate release of Andrea Rosal and over 400 political prisoners unjustly detained on trumped-up criminal charges.” Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS) and Wellington Kiwi Pinoy (WKP) declared in a joint statement.

“The deplorable conditions under which Rosal was detained and the tragic death of baby Diona strengthen our resolve to support the international campaign for an unconditional amnesty for political prisoners in the Philippines,” Walker concluded.

ENDS

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