Sen. Leila de Lima hopes to meet United Nations Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions Dr. Agnes Callamard if she would be allowed to attend the 15th International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland on March 18.
De Lima, who faces possible arrest for trumped-up drug charges by the government, is invited to the international event dedicated to cinema and human rights at the sideline of the Annual Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
“Your tireless advocacy of the respect of fundamental rights in your country has earned you the unanimous respect and admiration of the human rights community around the world,” General Director Isabelle Gattiker said.
“We could not think of a most qualified and distinguished person to participate in this event in Geneva, the human rights capital,” she added in a letter of invitation sent to De Lima last Nov. 8.
De Lima, Callamard and Rosemari Trajano of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates will participate in a panel about human rights violations in the Philippines entitled “Philippines: A License to Kill” which is co-presented by the World Organisation Against Torture and the Delegation Geneve Ville Solidaire.
The three invited guests are also expected to share their insights on a 20-minute film entitled “Philippines: Tirs a veu sur les dealers” by renown French journalist Chloe Remond who recently visited the Philippines.
The international film festival and forum on human rights is organized in collaboration with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
It is also being convened by international organizations, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Doctors without Borders, The Cinematheque Suisse, the University of Geneva and other international media organizations.
De Lima, who has been vocal against the rash of extrajudicial killings in the country, will also have a chance to meet with Hon. Ruth Dreifuss, former president of the Swiss Confederation and chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
She will also have a meeting with Swiss Senior Senator Liliane Maury Pasquier, who is co-president of the Parliamentary Intergroup on Global Health and co-president of the Parliamentary Intergroup on Addiction Policy, Prevention and Youth Protection.
It may be recalled that De Lima filed proposed Senate Resolution No. 153 urging the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to invite Dr. Callamard to look into the spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions amid the campaign against illegal drugs.
The former justice secretary also noted that multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union, have also expressed grave concerns over the drug-related killings in the country, urging the government to put a stop to these killings.
Other personalities who had attended the international event include Nobel Prizes Shirin Ebadi and Joseph Stiglitz, activists Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, High Commissioners Sergio Vieira de Mello, Nav I Pullay and Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, among others.