Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rights group slams separation of newborn from detained mother; calls for immediate release of mother and child

The human rights alliance Karapatan strongly calls for the immediate release of the 43 illegally detained health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, starting with the release of Carina "Judilyn" Oliveros who gave birth to a baby boy on July 22, 2010 at the Philippine General Hospital.

"Oliveros should be immediately released with her baby and we strongly protest the planned separation of mother from child," Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City are planning to take back to the Camp on Monday, August 3, the mother, Judilyn Oliveros, who belongs to the illegally detained health workers or the Morong 43, without the baby because they said that babies are prohibited from being reared inside the detention cell.

“We completely agree that conditions in the detention are not good for the baby AS WELL AS FOR THE NURSING MOTHER; and that is why we STRONGLY CALL for the IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF JUDILYN OLIVEROS AND HER BABY!, “ Enriquez said. “The continuous detention of the healthworkers or the Morong 43, is in itself already very tenuous, I don’t know how the courts can legally defend such a violation! And then this dispensation will further aggravate the situation by cruelly separating the baby from his source of nourishment, love and comfort, practically violating the baby’s basic rights,” she added.

Upon a decision by the Morong Regional Trial Court Branch 78, Judge Gina Cenat Escoto, Oliveros was brought to the Philippine General Hospital for a caesarean delivery of her son, as availability of better and adequate medical facilities are present at the PGH. Attending obstetrician, Dr. Orlino Talens also recommended that Oliveros stay in the hospital for a week to prevent postoperative complications.

“Baby boy Oliveros is just over a week old and it is most cruel to have him separated from his mother; I completely know this as I delivered my firstborn myself when I was imprisoned during martial law. I and my fellow political prisoners did not allow my baby to be separated from me. We call on Secretary De Lima not allow this injustice to happen. We strongly appeal to you - Free Judilyn and her child, free all the political prisoners,” Enriquez concluded.

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