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IDs for Muslims in Central Luzon is discriminatory and prohibited under International Covenant: Human Rights watch

Reacting to the proposal of police and military officials in Central Luzon to issue mandatory identification cards to Muslims as a way to flush out terrorists, the Human Rights Watch said the ID system would discriminate against Muslims based on religion, which is prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties to which the Philippines is a party.

“The IDs could also violate the rights to equal protection of the law, freedom of movement, and other basic rights,” said Carlos Conde, Philippine researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Conde said the ID proposal stems from the ongoing fighting in Marawi City in Mindanao between government troops and ISIS-linked Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

Conde said it is irrelevant from a rights perspective that during the consultation, some Muslim leaders did not object outright to the proposal.

“Since Duterte declared martial law throughout Mindanao on May 23, there have been reports of discrimination against Muslims. ID requirements for Muslims should be rejected outright,” said Conde. (Source: Manila Standard)