Amnesty Int'l cites De Lima in 'Human Rights Defenders Under Threat'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2017 01:09 AM

Senator Leila de Lima has been cited by Amnesty International (AI) in a new report as one of the women "human rights defenders."

De Lima, a staunch critic of President Duterte currently detained at Camp Crame for her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison illegal drug trade, is on AI's "Human Rights Defenders Under Threat" report. 

"In the Philippines in February 2017, Human Rights Defender Senator Leila de Lima, a former justice secretary and former chair of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, was arrested on politically motivated charges," the report reads. 

AI defined human rights defenders as those who “act to defend and/or promote human rights at the local, national, regional or international levels, without resorting to or advocating hatred, discrimination or violence.”

AI previously condemned De Lima’s arrest and said the charges against her are “politically motivated.” 

De Lima said she is a proud human rights defender. She added that she was subjected to misogynistic attacks by the President’s camp for opposing the war on drugs.

“For actively opposing the brutal war on drugs and for standing up to the abuses of the Duterte regime, I have been subjected to an unprecedented smear campaign and demonization, including misogynistic attacks launched by Duterte himself and his misguided deputies. I'm now in jail because I refuse to be cowed in fear or in silence,” she said.

“My consolation is there are many other human rights defenders spanning across continents who are also being threatened or attacked for simply speaking up and fighting for what is right.”

De Lima was also featured in TIME magazine’s list of most influential people alongside Duterte, who topped the readers’ poll.

She earlier received an award from the Foreign Policy magazine as a global thinker for "standing up to an extremist leader."

The Duterte administration denies the charges against De Lima are politically motivated.