Vandalism the worst crime? Arrest of Panday Sining artists hit
MANILA, Philippines — Human rights group Karapatan lamented on Friday the arrest of four Panday Sining members for vandalism, saying “vandalism has become the worst crime in the world.”
“Suddenly, with avid attention and desperation from government officials, it seems that vandalism has become the worst crime in the world,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said in a statement.
“So unforgivable that the youth who write scribbles of protests and criticisms through this form are criminalized akin to those who have committed heinous crimes,” she added.
On Saturday, four members of the activist group were apprehended by police officers for painting graffiti on a Light Rail Transit column in Manila to denounce political repression against activists.
Palabay also took a swipe at Interior Secretary Eduardo Año for using the incident to attack the youth.
“Panday Sining members continue to be in detention while government officials like [Año], who hark at every opportunity to demonize activists, use this incident to incite more attacks against the youth,” she said.
Karapatan also appealed to the government to “address the people’s legitimate calls for justice and accountability” instead of covering up the voices of dissent from artists and activists.
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