The Philippines has passed a landmark law that criminalises "enforced disappearances", a presidential spokeswoman said on Saturday, in a move hailed by human rights groups.
This file photo shows a relative of a victim under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos regime looking at pictures of Marcos at the Martial Law Museum in Manila, on September 21, 2010. Disappearances of activists rose sharply after Marcos declared martial law in 1972. Although Marcos was toppled in a popular revolt in 1986, activist groups say the abductions still continue.
Under the new law, enforced disappearances -- or abductions carried out by government forces -- will be treated as a separate category to ordinary kidnapping and could invite up to life imprisonment as punishment.
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