Groups back rights activist arrested for slay try on Sulu governor | Inquirer News

Groups back rights activist arrested for slay try on Sulu governor

/ 05:36 PM January 17, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — An international human rights group has rallied around human rights activist and former councilor Temogen Tulawie who has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the attempt to kill Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan in 2009.

In a statement, the Asian Human Rights Commission alleged that Tulawie was charged in court based on forced confessions, and said it was unfair to subject him to trial based on fabricated evidence.

The AHRC called on the Department of Justice to withdraw the criminal charges against Tulawie and his co-accused. They were earlier charged with frustrated murder and attempted murder in connection with the 2009 bomb explosion outside Patikul just as Tan’s car passed by. Twelve people were injured in the bombing.


“The evidence against them was based on the forced confessions of two of the accused, which they have already recanted,” the AHRC said in a statement.


“The AHRC strongly condemns the prosecutor’s decision in this case justifying the admissibility of forced confession as evidence against the accused,” it added.

Tulawie was arrested last week in Davao City based on a warrant issued by the Sulu regional trial court.

Tulawie, who had openly criticized Tan, denied involvement in the bombing, and said the charges against him were politically motivated.

He was charged based on the statements of Juhan Alihuddin and Muhammad Sulayman Muin, who had alleged that he was the brains behind the bombing.

But according to the AHRC, Muin and Alihuddin had recanted their testimonies and said their statements were made under duress. It also said there were witnesses who had supported Tulawie’s alibi that he was in Panamao and not in his house, as alleged, when the supposed meeting after the assassination plot was held.

Another co-accused, Muammar Askali, was also supported by witnesses who said he was in his home in Indanan tending his store during the bombing, the AHRC said.

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TAGS: attempted murder, Crime, Governor, News

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