HomeNews AlertRights groups call for release of prisoner who gave birth in detention

Rights groups call for release of prisoner who gave birth in detention

Human rights groups in the Philippines called on authorities to release, on humanitarian grounds, a 23-year old political prisoner who gave birth while in detention.

Reina Mae Nasino, a youth activist who was arrested in November 2019 over charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, gave birth on July 1 in Manila.

The Supreme Court is yet to act on the appeal of Nasino’s family and rights groups to grant her temporary release on bail and allow her to stay longer in the hospital with her newborn.

The Center for Women’s Resources called on the government to allow the young mother to spend the “necessary time to recuperate and breastfeed her child” outside the jail facilities.

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she should not be brought back to prison where she and her newborn are most vulnerable to contract the disease,” read the group’s statement.

The group claimed that Nasino spent most of her pregnancy “suffering in cruel and torturous jail conditions and was subjected to the threat of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.”

The group also urged the government to drop all “trumped-up” criminal charges filed against Nasino.

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“[She] should never be deprived of nurturing her newborn baby. For once, let a humane decision reign in the court,” said the group.

Fides Lim, spokesperson of the group Kapatid, criticized what she described as the “lack of urgency” from the Supreme Court on the case of the young political prisoner.

“If only they were able to decide earlier and did not let almost three months pass, [Nasino] could have given birth without fearing for her life and her child,” she said.

Kapatid is a support group for families and friends of political prisoners in the Philippines.

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