"The charges against Senator Leila de Lima are pure fiction. She has been singled out and targeted for nothing but her courageous opposition to President Duterte’s appalling policies.
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De Lima must be freed immediately — Amnesty
Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) - February 23, 2018 - 5:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — Rights watchdog Amnesty International called on the Philippine government to release detained Sen. Leila de Lima “immediately and unconditionally” ahead of the anniversary of her arrest. 

In a statement, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, called De Lima a “prisoner of conscience.”

“The charges against Senator Leila de Lima are pure fiction. She has been singled out and targeted for nothing but her courageous opposition to President Duterte’s appalling policies,” Gomez said. 

He noted that it is disappointing that the government is more interested in jailing critics than preventing cops from killing thousands.

“This is clearly an attempt to try and crush the spirit of a brave and consummate activist and send a clear warning to those who dare shine a light on the murderous actions of Duterte,” Gomez said. 

He, moreover, renewed organization’s call for the United Nations to support an international investigation into the situation in the Philippines.

Amnesty International was the latest group to call for the immediate release of De Lima. Human Rights Watch and ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights had earlier urged the government to drop the “politically-motivated” charges against the administration’s critic.

De Lima was arrested on Feb. 24, 2017 over drug-related charges but is yet to be arraigned due to procedural delays.

Her arraignment was postponed in December few days after the prosecution had filed a motion seeking to amend information on the charges against her for her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison drug trade while she was Justice secretary.

Arraignment was again postponed in January after Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Judge Juanita Guerrero, who ordered De Lima arrested last year, inhibited from the case.

The senator, who is currently detained at Camp Crame, has repeatedly denied the charges.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS SENATOR LEILA DE LIMA
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