Rights groups mourn Baby River’s death, seek political prisoners’ release

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2020 05:55 AM

Human rights groups on Saturday held a candle-lighting protest event along Taft, Manila to mourn the death of 3-month-old infant River Nasino

They expressed outrage at a court decision denying River's mother, detained activist Reina Mae Nasino, a chance to visit her then terminally ill child.

Kabataan Party List Representative Sarah Elago appealed in court to grant Nasino the chance to visit the wake of her daughter.

Elago also slammed the government's persistent attacks against activists amid the ongoing pandemic.

Prior to the baby's death, KAPATID and National Union of Peoples' Lawyers filed with the Manila regional trial court late Friday afternoon an urgent motion to allow Nasino to spend time with River, who was in intensive care at Philippine General Hospital (PGH) battling bacterial infection.

But River died before 9 p.m. Friday night, hours after the filing.

Nasino, who is facing illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges, gave birth to River on July 1 at Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, 8 months after her arrest in November 2019.

The NUPL tried to keep mother and baby together, but Manila RTC Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali sided with the position of the detention facility that its limited resources cannot cover hospital detention.

"This injustice not only to the motherhood of Reina but also to the life of baby River deserves our rage," Kabataan said in a statement.