Ex-detainee attends torture confab

FORMER political detainee Axel Pinpin is attending an international symposium on torture and arbitrary detention and isolation in Istanbul, Turkey.

Pinpin is among the political prisoners known collectively as the “Tagaytay 5.” Pinpin and his companions were on their way to Manila when they were abducted by authorities in Tagaytay City in 2006.

After a few days, they were all presented to the media as “communist rebels” involved in a “destabilization plot” against the Arroyo government.

They were allegedly tortured and held incommunicado from relatives, lawyers and friends for several days.

“Our participation in the symposium in Turkey is an expression of solidarity with all political prisoners and human rights advocates against torture, arbitrary arrests and detention,” said Pinpin.

He said the plight of political prisoners, who were imprisoned because they were seen as ‘enemies of the states,’ ‘terrorists’ or ‘dangerous dissenters’ is an issue that should be seen in the light of the continuing wars of aggression.

“Legitimate acts of protests and dissent are being criminalized and the right of the people to organize and mobilize as part of their democratic movements are being curtailed and silenced through torture and imprisonment,” Pinpin said.

Pinpin will give testimonies on his own experience while in prison and on the campaign launched by human rights organizations and people’s organizations for their release.

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