De Lima among political prisoners featured at 10th Geneva Summit

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has been included among the prominent political prisoners across the globe who were highlighted at the 10th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy last Feb. 20.

She joined the ranks of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and Uighur economist Ilham Tohti – all of whom were stripped off their freedom for defending democracy and human rights.

“They fight for survival, confronting horrific memories every single day,” a poster seen during the conference read.

The conference, held at the International Conference Center Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland was attended by human rights activists and victims, diplomats, journalists and student leaders.

The posters of the political prisoner -including De Lima–showing their photos and number of days in detention or in exile, were seen at the conference venue.

De Lima’s poster showed her photo bearing the words “361 Days Wrongly Imprisoned.”

To convey his solidarity for De Lima, Liberal-Democrat Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands Phillip Bennion posted a photo of him on Facebook holding the poster of the Senator.

“Showing solidarity with our liberal political prisoners at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights. Leila de Lima, Anwar Ibrahim, Ken Sokha, Ilham Tohti and Raif Badawi,” his caption read.

Meanwhile, in a Twitter post, Liberal International (LI) tagged De Lima and other political prisoners as “imprisoned liberal heroes.”

“Imprisoned but never forgotten.. At #Europe’s largest gathering of human rights dissidents – the @genevasummit for #humanrights and #democracy – some of our imprisoned #liberal heroes are held up as a reminder of why we fight! #FreeRaif #FreeDeLima…”

In a statement from her detention cell, De Lima said the obvious trend of jailing government critics and opposition leaders should serve as a wakeup call to everyone–Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike–to fight any oppressive government leaders.

“Let’s stand together to put a stop to the continuous harassment of people critical of the government. Let’s not allow the culture of fear to stop us from doing what is just and right,” she said.

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