FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LIZA L. MAZA
Chairperson, International Women’s Alliance
+63 917 828 6015
International Women’s Alliance Chairperson Liza L. Maza expressed concern over the arrest of nine month pregnant Andrea Rosal last March 27 and the reported denial of her access to legal advice for hours after her arrest in violation of her basic right to legal counsel and the “UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders” otherwise known as the Bangkok Rules. Furthermore, Ms. Rosal was only given medical attention two days after her arrest under pressure from protests.
The Bangkok Rules unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 set out rules for the treatment of women prisoners. The Bangkok rules recognizes “[…] the fact that many existing prison facilities worldwide were designed primarily for male prisoners”. It was crafted with consideration for women prisoners who “[…] are one of the vulnerable groups that have specific needs and requirements”.
“We are concerned that Ms. Rosal’s basic civil right to counsel was denied by Government forces enforcing the arrest warrant” says Maza. She calls attention to rule 2 paragraph 1 of the Bankok Rules, which states that, “Adequate attention shall be paid to the admission procedures for women and children, due to their particular vulnerability at this time. Newly arrived women prisoners shall be provided with facilities to contact their relatives; access to legal advice […]”
Maza further expresses concern that “Ms. Rosal has not received adequate medical attention considering the advanced stage of her pregnancy, this is in clear violation of rule 23 paragraph 1 of the “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners”, which states, “In women’s institutions there shall be special accommodation for all necessary pre-natal and post-natal care and treatment. Arrangements shall be made wherever practicable for children to be born in a hospital outside the institution.”
Citing rule 64 which states, “Non-custodial sentences for pregnant women and women with dependent children shall be preferred where possible and appropriate, […]”, Maza asserts that Rosal, in her delicate condition, may be released on recognizance or set free unconditionally given the questionable grounds for her arrest.
“As a matter of fact, Andrea Rosal may only be guilty because of her blood relation to former New People’s Army (NPA) spokesperson Ka Roger Rosal and was the reason why she was abducted by the military in 1989 to force Ka Roger to surrender.” Maza concluded ###