Philippines Senate gives hope for torture survivors like Alfreda Disbarro
Alfreda Disbarro has shown enormous courage. She was tortured repeatedly by police in the Philippines following her arrest in October 2013. Alfreda was punched in her stomach and face, hit with a club, had fingers poked in her eyes, slapped, was forced to eat a mop and had her head banged against the wall. She was in such pain in the days that followed the beatings that she couldn’t eat, had difficulty breathing and kept vomiting.
But Alfreda made the courageous decision to speak up, and her story has helped to lead to change. Alfreda Disbarro has been the focus of massive campaigning by Amnesty International to stop torture. She and her family have expressed their thanks for what Amnesty has done by highlighting her case.
And change is beginning to happen in the Philippines. Following the launch of our 4 December 2014 report, “Above the Law: Police Torture in the Philippines”, the chair of the Philippines Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee proposed a Senate inquiry into the findings in Amnesty’s report. This is an important start, for sure.
Alfreda and many others are waiting for justice. An investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment suffered by Alfreda Disbarro is urgently needed.
We know our call to the Philippines is being heard. Let us respect the courage that Alfreda and others, such as Jerryme Corre have shown by going public with their stories, and keep pressing for action. A Senate inquiry must lead to meaningful and long lasting change which will stop torture everywhere.
You can take action for Jerryme Corre this year as a part of Amnesty International's Write for Rights Campaign.