Friday, 22 June 2012 10:51
While some government officials are looking at missing Jordanian journalist as a conduit for the al-Qaida terrorist group, a high-ranking Commission on Human Rights (CHR) official has commented reminding them of their legal human rights obligations.
Human Rights Commissioner Atty. Jose Manuel Mamauag said Thursday that instead of suspecting the Jordanian TV journalist Baker Abdulla Atyani or investigating his alleged links with the terror group, government should always be proactive.
"On the first place, journalists are human rights defenders. They are the messenger of truth, they provide the society with truthful information...whether it is deliberate or it his of his intention to be kidnapped is of no moment to be discussed," he stressed.
"Let us look for him because that is the duty of government to secure both citizens of this republic and visitors -- foreign and domestic...the Jordanian journalist should be provided with ample human rights protection," Mamauag added.
The CHR commissioner's comment came after a Manila-based official, who joined the efforts to solve the Jordanian journalist's disappearance in Sulu, explained that Atyani was the favored journalist of al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.
The said official revealed that Atyani was the man who interviewed Bin Laden three months before the 9/11 attacks. During that interview, held near Kandahar, Bin Laden and al-Qaeda deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahiri hinted about the terror plot.
According to Mamauag, the reasons or arguments should be set aside first. "Let us look for him then see to it that his freedom of movement is secured..that is the duty of government.
"Whatever reasons there are, should not be a hindrance of their obligation to look for the missing Jordanian journalist."
He asked: "Is this a question of new standard of rescuing victims of alleged...the deprivation of freedom of movement? Does this mean that if we have a new standard we will not anymore uphold human rights?"
"The Jordanian journalist is the bringer of truth and facts. He is a messenger, therefore, we should protect him...journalists are human rights defender," Mamauag said.
Meanwhile, Mamauag disclosed that he will issue directive to the office of Commission on Human Rights in Region 9 and the CHR – ARMM under Atty. Laisa Masuhud-Alamia, to look into the situation relative to the missing Jordanian journalist.
"This is what we call deprivation of freedom of movement. They (government officials) should set aside first the arguments or reasons. For us, deprivation is a serious violation of human rights," he said.
by Hader Glang
- 23/06/2012 18:43 - P40 Million fire hits Jolo business district
- 23/06/2012 18:43 - Government vows to maintain efforts to curb human trafficking
- 23/06/2012 18:42 - Zambo fire station to launch own website
- 22/06/2012 10:53 - It's Mercy for Vice Mayor and Mannix for D2 Congress - Jalosjos
- 22/06/2012 10:52 - HDES alarmed over increase in AIDS cases in Zambo
- 22/06/2012 10:51 - DOH assures no imported tainted milk reaches the local market
- 22/06/2012 10:50 - Police arrest drug pushers
- 22/06/2012 10:50 - GSIS opens 200 college scholarship grants
- 22/06/2012 10:49 - City gov’t backs Hermosa Chorale
- 22/06/2012 10:49 - Mercy Fernandez resigns as Dapitan councilor to return to Zamboanga