Human Rights Watch: Philippine Officials Propose “Muslims Only” ID

The Philippines is considering expansion of a program that issues mandatory ID cards for Muslims with the goal of identifying what one official calls “undesirable individuals and terrorists.” Muslims make up about 11 percent of the nation’s population of 10.7 million. The proposal is in response to ongoing fighting with ISIS-affiliated militants taking Christians hostage in Mindanao and forcing many nearby residents to evacuate, reports Carlos H. Conde for Human Rights Watch. The international rights group and other activists oppose the proposal. “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties to which the Philippines is a party prohibits discrimination based on religion,” explains Conde. “The IDs could also violate the rights to equal protection of the law, freedom of movement, and other basic rights. Requiring Muslim-only IDs in response to a perceived failure of Muslims to prevent Islamist fighters from entering Marawi City is a form of collective punishment.” ID cards do not ensure security and can be borrowed, duplicated or altered. Singling out the large minority group, employing tough tactics after the actions of a few, contributes to marginalization and perhaps even more extremism. – YaleGlobal

Human Rights Watch: Philippine Officials Propose "Muslims Only" ID

The Philippines singles out Muslims by considering expansion of a program for issuing mandatory ID cards for Muslims
Carlos H. Conde
Thursday, July 6, 2017

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Carlos H. Conde is the Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch’s  Asia division. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Conde has worked as a journalist for 20 years, nearly half of that time as the freelance correspondent in Manila for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter and editor for various publications in the Philippines.

© 2017 Human Rights Watch

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