De Lima overwhelmed by outpouring of support from int’l community calling for her freedom


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima welcomed the outpouring of support from various international groups and leaders who demanded for her immediate release.

De Lima, who marked her 5th year in unjust detention last Feb. 24, said she is overwhelmed by the continued support from the international community.

“Despite my continued political persecution, the overwhelming support I am receiving from esteemed individuals and reputable organizations from different parts of the world never fail to remind me that truth is on my side and that my vindication is coming,” she said.

After the messages of solidarity from Human Rights Watch (HRW), ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), European Parliament (EP), and Amnesty International (AI), more international groups and personalities expressed their concern for De Lima and condemned her unjust detention.

In a recent post on Twitter, US Senator Ed Markey posted: “Five years ago today, @SenLeiladeLima was wrongfully imprisoned for shining a light on Rodrigo Duterte’s abuses. @SenatorDurbin, @SenatorLeahy and I continue to demand that the Philippine government drop its politically-motivated charges and immediately release Senator De Lima.”

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, for its part, tweeted: “Candidates of the May 2022 presidential race must pledge to #FreeLeilaNow.”

Condemning De Lima’s continued political persecution, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights noted that De Lima is “a leading voice seeking justice for victims of crimes against humanity committed in Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs,’ who was detained on fabricated charges.”

Prior to these, HRW and AI, in separate statements, said the candidates for this year’s national elections should commit to freeing De Lima.

Charles Santiago, APHR Chair and a Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP), for his part, said De Lima should be freed because she “is no criminal, and continues to stand up for truth, justice, and accountability.”

The European Parliament, meanwhile, issued a resolution last Feb. 17 condemning, among others, De Lima’s continued unjust detention and other human rights abuses in the country. (30)

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