Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairman and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said the anti-terrorism bill is only terrorizing the people.
“In one sense at least, this terror bill is aptly titled: not yet even a law, it has already terrorized an entire nation,” the FLAG said in a statement.
“Still reeling the midst of a horrible pandemic, the people now worry also about their enslavement,” it added.
The group warned that “the terror bill diminishes the constitutional rights of the people to life and liberty protected by due process, to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, to the privacy of communication and correspondence, to free speech, assembly, and association, to be held answerable for a criminal offense only with due process of law.”
Though the proposed law excludes acts like advocacy, protest, dissent and exercises of civil and political rights, FLAG said the government will still decide if these acts have been committed with terrorism in mind.
“While international terrorism is real enough, there is absolutely no showing that it could not be adequately addressed by competent governance even without this terror bill,” it declared.