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Cybercrackdown on gays feared

Transgender and gay members of an activist group are wary that the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 signed last week by President Benigno Aquino III will unleash a massive wave of extortion, harassment, and sufferings in the hands of law enforcement and anti-gay groups.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

6th October 2012 09:55

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

Particularly worrying to LGBTs is the definition of Cybersex crime, which could fetch six to ten years of jail time or a fine of up to half a million pesos. “The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favour or consideration.”

“There are many transgenders who are forced by poverty into baring their bodies before a webcam just to feed their families and send their siblings to school, and they are unwilling victims of trafficking by profiteers. This law can potentially double the victimization of poor trans and gay persons because the terms ‘willful’ and ‘favor and consideration’ are so vague. The law can deem trafficked persons consented to work for pay,” explained Clyde Pumihic, secretary general of ProGay Baguio.

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