BJMP isolating political detainees, lawyers claim | Inquirer News
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BJMP isolating political detainees, lawyers claim

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 07:40 AM January 19, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–A lawyers’ group on Sunday said it would file charges against jail officials who refused political detainees staging a hunger strike access to doctors and their counsels.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) accused the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for twisting international rules on the handling of prisoners and detainees by demanding that visitors present legal documents.

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“[The] BJMP’s legal gobbledygook and malapropisms of international law are pretentious cover to deny or restrict entry and access of legitimate doctors, counsel on record and regular visitors to political prisoners on hunger strike. Prison officials are distorting essence and intent of abstract international guidelines as [a] smokescreen [for] their fascist and whimsical security measures and malicious intrigues,” NUPL secretary-general Edre Olalia said in a statement.

The inmates went on hunger strike last Saturday to dramatize their call for Pope Francis to intercede for their release.

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“For contumaciously denying access to doctors our clients trust, we will file criminal, civil and administrative charges in all forums, including complaints in foreign bodies, against ruthless BJMP officials and guards. Let it be clear. We hold them responsible if anything happens to political prisoners who are on hunger strike and are now weak and ill,” Olalia said.

Among those who went on hunger strike were 32 political detainees held at the BJMP jail in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. Twenty-two were later transferred to a special intensive care area.

Human rights activists and militant leaders trying to visit the detainees have been barred by the BJMP.

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TAGS: Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Edre Olalia, Hunger Strike, National Union of People's Lawyers, political detainees
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