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CHR probes shaving of women’s heads in Maguindanao

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is conducting an investigation into the alleged forced shaving of women’s heads in Ampatuan, Maguindanao for being lesbians.

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said its regional office in Soccsksargen is conducting an investigation into the supposed incident, which was shared on social media by a local news organization. The post has been taken down.

“CHR finds this incident deeply concerning especially as the country celebrates Pride Month this June,” De Guia said.

She said no person should suffer discrimination and harm on the basis of affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or sex characteristics.

Islamic beliefs prohibit homosexuality.

“We stress that not even a religious belief can justify a human rights violation. Religious freedom while it includes the absolute right to believe in a dogma, cannot transgress on the rights of others nor be used to justify harm and violence,” De Guia said.

She said existing laws, including the Safe Spaces Act, uphold the right of all persons from harassment, including protection from remarks and slurs that betray hatred and fear against lesbians, gays, transgenders, queers and intersex or LGBTQI.

De Guia said ending the stigma, discrimination and violence faced by the LGBTQI community should be a concern of all, noting that they deserve equal right to safety and security in private and public spaces.

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