Philippines man dies after being forced to do 300 squats for breaking Covid-19 curfew
April 08, 2021 at 03:49
(CNN) A man in the Philippines has died after being forced to do 300 squats for breaching Covid curfews, making him the latest victim of the country's often brutal approach to enforcing restrictions.
"All police officers who will be proven to have violated the law will be prosecuted and meted with appropriate (administrative) and criminal penalties," the department's undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a text message to CNN Philippines.
In a statement last month , non-profit organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) pointed to reports that officials had locked five youths inside a dog cage for violating quarantine.
They also reportedly forced people to sit in the midday sun as punishment for breaching a curfew.
A tough approach to Covid restrictionsThe Philippines has taken a tough approach to containing coronavirus.
In its annual report released this week, Amnesty International criticized the Philippines' approach, noting that "measures taken by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 led to numerous abuses of human rights."
Last month, Duterte defended using former military officers in the fight against Covid-19, saying, "You need not be a doctor here," according to a CNN Philippines report .
But activists say the pandemic has further degraded freedoms and human rights.
According to Conde, the key problem is the government is treating Covid-19 as a public safety issue -- not a health concern.
"I think the police, the military and the local government, they have been emboldened to commit human rights violations even more during the pandemic," he said.
A police officer takes mugshots of alleged curfew violators at a quarantine checkpoint on March 29, 2021 in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Diokno said human rights had "very clearly" been degraded over the pandemic.