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Philippines activists fear new cybercrime law will target trans people

in PHILIPPINES, 30/09/2012

Gay rights activists in the Philippines have warned that a new cybercrime law will lead to extortion and harassment of trans people by the police.

President Benigno Aquino III signed the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 into law on 12 September, and concerns have also been raised about the law’s potential infringement on freedom of speech.

ProGay Philippines say they are particularly concerned about the vague definition of ‘cybersex crime’ in the legislation which carries penalties of six years in jail or a 500,000 Pesos fine ($12,000, €9,300).

‘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,’ said secretary general of ProGay Baguio Clyde Pumihic.

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