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Human Rights Watch alarmed by Carlos Celdran conviction

28 January 2013 No Comment

Below is a statement from Human Rights Watch:

“We are alarmed by the court’s decision today finding reproductive health advocate Carlos Celdran guilty of ‘offending religious feelings’ and sentencing him to a maximum of one year in prison. This is a setback for free speech in the Philippines, which prides itself on being a democracy. This verdict should be reversed. Nobody should be jailed for voicing out an opinion or position, especially on a subject that concerns the lives of millions of Filipino women and mothers.”

“The government should ensure that pro-reproductive rights activists are not targeted using such archaic provisions of the Philippines’ Revised Penal Code. This case shows the potential for misuse and malicious prosecution and hence the need for urgent reform to this provision of the code.”

Carlos Conde
Asia Researcher
Human Rights Watch

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