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LGBTQIA+ groups express support for Awra Briguela following arrest, police detention

MANILA, Philippines — LGBTQIA+ groups Bahaghari and University of the Philippines (UP) Bahaghari expressed their support for actor Awra Briguela and condemned the authorities who arrested her, claiming the incident was another example of police brutality and gender-based violence.

Videos circulated online last June 29 of Awra getting into a physical altercation with some men who allegedly harassed Awra's female companions.

Members of the Makati City police arrived on the scene to take control of the situation, placing handcuffs on an exclaiming and struggling Awra who was then put into a vehicle.

According to reports, Arwa was slapped with complaints regarding physical injuries, alarm and scandal, direct assault, and disobedience to a person in authority.

Bahaghari condemned the actions of the Makati cops as a clear example of police brutality and transphobia even after she stood up to defend her friends from harassment.

Sa lahat ng naging sangkot sa gulo, tanging si Awra lang ang pinagtulungan ng mga pulis na posasan at isakay sa police vehicle.

Mariing kinukundena ng Bahaghari ang nangyari kay Awra Briguela at kanyang mga kaibigan, mula sa harassment hanggang sa brutal na pag-aresto kay Awra.

— Bahaghari (@Bahaghari_PH) June 29, 2023

"Sa lahat ng naging sangkot sa gulo, tanging si Awra lang ang pinagtulungan ng mga pulis na posasan at isakay sa police vehicle," the organization said in a Twitter thread. "Mariing kinukundena ng Bahaghari ang nangyari kay Awra Briguela at kanyang mga kaibigan, mula sa harassment hanggang sa brutal na pag-aresto kay Awra."

The group called for Awra's urgent release, that all "false, trumped-up" charges against her be dropped, and that an impartial investigation be set in motion to hold accountable those who harassed Awra's companions.

Bahaghari said the incident was another reminder of how the government "treats Filipinos who speak truth to power," like activists, community organizers and people such as Awra who confront abuse.

The UP Babaylan issued a similar statement, calling the injustice against Awra as "one of the many recurring narratives of discrimination that women, transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people face daily."

As the only one detained, the group added that Awra's situation was a "testament that women and TGNC individuals are at greater risk, being demonized and assumed of their worst in all situations."

TW: sexual harassment, police violence, transphobia

WE STAND WITH AWRA!

Justice for Awra and the victims of sexual harassment! Stop the attacks on women’s and LGBTQI rights!#StandWithAwra#JusticeForAllTransLives#DefundPNP#SafeSpacesNow#SOGIEEqualityNowpic.twitter.com/Dft8cPsRkk

— UP Babaylan ?????‍?????????‍?? #SOGIEEqualityNow (@upbabaylan) June 29, 2023

In condemning the police as "a macho-feudal institution borne of patriarchy," UP Babaylan said the cops did not to listen to the side of the harassed women, "Undeniably, at their core are misogyny, sexism, transphobia and homophobia!"

"Being a woman and having fun in a public bar are not and will never be an invitation for violence," the group also said. "The voices of those discriminated upon are the voices that should have been amplified, while the harassers should not have had any chance to spew out lies and forward their transphobic and misogynistic narratives."

Both groups as well as the Kabataan and Gabriela partylists reiterated the need for an anti-discrimination law like the much-delayed sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics(SOGIESC) Equality Bill to prevent such incidents from happening again.

"Dapat nang seryosohin ng Kongreso ang pagpasa sa SOGIESC Equality Bill para bigyang mas kongkretong proteksyon ang LGBTQ+ community mula sa karahasan tulad ng nangyari ngayon," said Kabataan's Education and Research Officer and gender advocate Athea Beatrice Papa in a statement sent to Philstar.com.

Awra remains in police custody and has yet to release a statement regarding the issue.

RELATED: Awra Briguela in police custody, faces charges after defending friends from harassers

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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