Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has joined the global call for justice for human rights victims in Sudan following the ouster of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir who is accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide under the Rome Statute.
In an official statement, De Lima expressed her unequivocal support to Parliamentarians for Global Action’s (PGA) six-point call for reconstruction of democracy and rule of law in Sudan, including, among others, the surrender of Bashir and other officials accused of same crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“I strongly stand behind the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) and other international organizations in urging for the immediate reconstruction of democracy, for the restoration of the rule of law in Sudan, and for demanding justice and accountability from the perpetrators and enablers of the horrific atrocities and human rights abuses committed against the Sudanese people,” she said.
“I join the clamor upon the new Sudanese government to allow the International Criminal Court to do its work of putting its deposed leader Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and his inner circle on trial for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity they are accused of under the Rome Statute,” she added.
Bashir, one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents, is reportedly being held in solitary confinement in Kobar maximum security prison, following the military coup that led to his ouster. He will be replaced by a transitional military council for two years.
The ICC has already issued two arrest warrants for the former Sudanese leader on the grounds that he committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, extermination and rape, and genocide following the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in in the Sudanese region of Darfur.
The PGA, which is composed of over 1,350 legislators from 140 parliaments, noted it is important to “surrender without delay” Bashir and other Sudanese individuals charged with genocide and war crimes to ensure that “the course of justice for the victims of atrocities may finally take place.”
The lady Senator from Bicol pointed out that the downfall of three decades’ long rule of Bashir in Sudan should remind abusive leaders from across the world that there are consequences for governments that blatantly violate fundamental human rights of their people.
“No ruler or leader should be allowed to brutalize his own people and go unpunished,” she said.
De Lima, a known human rights defender, added that she hopes that the people who suffer under tyrannical regime, especially the Filipino public, will continue to stand up against tyrants as they continue their fight for justice and human rights.
“As I monitor closely what is happening in Sudan from my detention, I pray that those who are struggling against tyrannical and repressive regimes – including the Filipinos and the Burmese — will hold on to a common faith in humanity and remain steadfast in the hope that no matter how long and lonely the fight may be,
“As long as we have persistent courage and unwavering determination to stand up for what is right and just, truth and accountability will prevail and the climate of impunity and state repression will come to pass,” she said. Despite being detained over bizarre drug charges fabricated by the vengeful Duterte regime since 2017, De Lima has consistently stood for human rights and spoke against government atrocities by filing meaningful bills and resolutions, among others.