Last Updated on March 28, 2020
People caught breaking Coronavirus curfews in the Philippines are held in dog cages, a human rights group has warned.
The Independent reported that people who breech their quarantine are subjected to ‘cruel’ mistreatment.
Human Rights Watch spoke of a case where five men were corralled into a small dog cage after being arrested for failing to adhere to the “enhanced community” quarantine which is due to be observed for a month on the island of Luzon.
Officials said that the verbally abusive men had obstreperously refused to adhere to the newly introduced restrictions.
In another case near Manila, detained men were reportedly forced to sit in the midday heat as part of their curfew-breaking punishment.
As part of the lockdown, non-essential shops have been closed and travel to the large island have been severely restricted in order to stall the spread of the Covid-19.
Several other countries have imposed similar measures for the same end–preventing further spread of infection.
The Philippines, no stranger to controversy over their authoritarian regime’s punishments, has reportedly witnessed hundreds of arrests of those who have violated curfews and social distancing requirements.
According to The Independent:
“Police and local officials should respect the rights of those they arrest for violating curfew and other public health regulations, which can be done while still allowing the Philippines government to take appropriate measures to combat Covid-19,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“Any mistreatment should be immediately investigated, and the authorities responsible held accountable.”
Other countries exercise less draconian reprimands for violating quarantine-related restrictions such as fines and light prison sentences.