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House passes bill banning ‘Muslim’ or ‘Christian’ tag on suspects

ICC Note:

In response to increasing violence between Muslim and Christian groups in the Philippines, their House is closer to passing a bill that will ban the labeling of suspects by their religious identification in mass media.

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10/17/08 Philippines (GMANews) A bill banning the labeling of suspected criminals by their religion took a step closer to becoming a law after it was passed in the House of Representatives.
House Bill 100, which was approved on third and final reading, threatens to fine media at least P50,000. The same was transmitted to the Senate for plenary action.
The proposed law bans the use of “Muslim” and “Christian” or any word that would denote religious, regional or ethnic affiliation in describing suspects or convicts in mass media.

Under the bill, the juridical entity that will be found violating the proposed legislation should be imposed a fine not lower than P50,000 for every violation.
The bill also penalizes any person or media entity found violating provisions of the law with six years’ imprisonment and a fine of not more than P10,000.
“Banning this culturally and religiously biased practice would definitely contribute and result in increased positive social space and understanding between and among Muslims and non-Muslims,” Angara said.

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