The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is “deeply concerned” with how government authorities handled the case of human rights worker Reina Mae Nasino, who is currently undergoing trial for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

20201014 IMG 1621 1 1024x683 - CHR ‘deeply concerned’ over gov’t handling of Nasino
Activist Reina Mae Nasino
(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

Nasino was allowed on Tuesday to attend the wake and funeral of her three-month old daughter, River. After concerns were raised by prison officials, the local court decided to shorten her furlough from three days to just three hours on Wednesday and Friday.

CHR Spokesperson Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia said that Nasino remains an accused, so the presumption of innocence is still on her side.

“Even in detention, persons deprived of liberty should not be subjected to any cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and that it remains to be a State obligation to respect their inherent dignity and value as human beings, in line with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners or the Nelson Mandela Rules,” she said.

The CHR hoped that the government had put the best interest of the child in mind, and even cited the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders or the Bangkok Rules.

It explained that “decisions to allow children to stay with their mothers in prison shall be based on the best interest of the children.”

Sadly, in the case of Nasino, her three-month old baby was kept away from her despite the child’s deteriorating health.

The CHR, through its Investigation Office, will be conducting its own investigation on Nasino’s case and determine whether or not her detention is a form of harassment due to her human rights work.  

“We likewise extend our sympathies to the family, especially to the mother, for the death of baby River,” said de Guia.

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