Sotto wrong, rights groups not quiet over India rape cases – HRW
MANILA, Philippines – Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday, May 8, hit Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III for wrongly claiming that international human rights groups turn a blind eye to rape cases in India.
In a statement, the New York-based rights group pointed out that it has "repeatedly criticized" sexual violence in the South Asian country.
"HRW has repeatedly criticized sexual violence in India, calling for an end to institutional barriers to justice, and has recommended reforming and training the police," Mennakshi Ganguly, HRW's South Asia Director, said.
"Another daily gang rape in India. Sinunog pa. Bakit quiet mga int'l human rightists (sic)? Drugs lang ang concern nila?" he said, tagging a pro-Duterte blogger's account.
(Another daily gang rape in India. They even burned the victim. Why are international human rights groups quiet? Are they only concerned about drugs?)
The senator may have been talking about a 17-year-old girl from India who, after being raped, was doused in kerosene and set on fire.
His allegation that right groups are quiet, however, is wrong, HRW pointed out.
In fact, HRW just released last April a report detailing the lack of justice given to women and girls with disabilities who are victims of sexual violence in India. It has also repeatedly urged the Indian government to take proper actions to address the issues and hold perpetrators accountable.
The group also said that the Philippines is just one of more than 90 countries they focus on – tackling issues on health, children's rights, migrants, and education, among others.
In the Philippines, aside from continuously monitoring the bloody anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte, HRW also draws attention to HIV issues and reproductive health, among others.
Other international human rights watchdogs have also released statements and reports on the situation in India.
Amnesty International, for example, recently launched a website called Halt the Hate which aims to document hate crimes against vulnerable groups in India. These crimes include rape, assault, and murder. – Rappler.com
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