De Lima welcomes US Senate Resolution condemning unjust detention of women rights defenders, including her


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            Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima welcomes the proposed US Senate Resolution condemning the detention of women rights defenders and journalists around the world, including her, and calling for their immediate release.

            De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, said she is grateful to the nine US Senators, led by Sen. Bob Menendez, for their collective and unceasing efforts to fight injustice and the breakdown of the rule of law by filing Senate Resolution (SR) No. 342.

            “I am deeply humbled by your determined call for accountability from the US government to act with solidarity over the plight of politically persecuted women across the world, myself included,” De Lima said.

            “Despite the political persecution we are subjected to, we, women fighters, are still very fortunate to have champions like you who are at the forefront to make sure that we obtain justice and are able to keep on advancing our common goals for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law,” she added.

            SR No. 342, authored by Sen. Menendez, along with fellow US Senators Ben Cardin, Tim Kaine, Edward Markey, Jeff Merkley, Brian Schatz, Chris Van Hollen, Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Coons, “expresses the sense of the Senate regarding the practice of politically motivated imprisonment of women around the world and calling on governments for the immediate release of women who are political prisoners.”

            In the Resolution, they cited De Lima as among the women around the world who “face enormous risks when seeking to advance human rights and pursue progress for their communities.”

            “Senator Leila de Lima remains unjustly imprisoned in the Philippines for her vocal criticism of extrajudicial killings carried out during President Duterte’s ‘war drugs,’” the Resolution read.

            They said that the US Senate supports women who are unjustly or wrongfully detained around the world, stressing that “a government should never detain its citizens for exercising the rights of freedom of assembly, association, and speech.”

            They called on governments to “immediately and unconditionally release these political prisoners.”

            The 9 US Senators pointed out that “the United States Government, in all its  interactions with foreign governments [should] raise individual cases of women political prisoners [and] press for the immediate release of such political prisoners.”

            Aside from De Lima, among the women cited in the Resolution, include Zhang Zhan, a citizen-journalist sentenced to 4 years in prison for reporting on COVID-19 in Wuhan; Rahile Dawut, a professor of traditional Uyghur culture; and Maryia Kalesnikava, a prominent Belarusian opposition leader abducted and charged with incitement to undermine national security for her pro-democracy advocacy, to name some.

            Just this month, De Lima also extended her gratitude to 11 US Senators who urged the Biden government to condemn the Duterte administration on its blatant human rights abuses and violations, including her continued unjust detention. (30)            

Access the copy of Senate Resolution No. 342 here:

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