Human rights group to Pres. Aquino: Free Alan Jazmines

THE INTERNATIONALLY-recognized human rights group KARAPATAN denounced the arrest of Alan Jazmines by AFP-PNP troops Monday night just before a ceasefire was announced with the resumption of GPH-NDFP peace negotiations. Karapatan calls on President Benigno Aquino III to immediately release Jazmines.

“This is treachery to the talks.  Jazmines is working with the NDFP peace negotiations and is covered by the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).  He should be released immediately if peace talks are to resume properly,” Karapatan spokesperson Jigs Clamor clarified.

“The trumped-up charges of murder filed in Quezon are a silly excuse to keep him in detention.  The criminal charges filed against prominent leaders and members of progressive organizations are completely falsified and baseless.  Jazmines is clearly a political prisoner now and we should be wary that the AFP and the government will use him as a bargaining chip in the negotiations. We are asking the Aquino administration to withdraw all trumped-up charges and release all political prisoners in the country as a gesture of goodwill in the peace talks,” Clamor said.

Jazmines was also arrested and later released during the term of President Cory Aquino.  “He has engaged in the anti-dictatorship struggle which toppled Marcos even before the latest Tunisian and Egyptian struggles were greeted by the peoples of the world.  Since President Aquino himself has welcomed the ouster of Mubarak, he should also recognize the contributions made by his fellow Filipinos in fighting for genuine democracy,” Clamor added.

“As we reiterate our call for the release of all political prisoners, we warn the AFP against using torture on detainees and harassment and intimidation on their families.  The AFP has been known to violate human rights and Pnoy should stop these atrocities,” Karapatan said.

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