According to De Lima’s camp, the UNHRC WGAD has formally referred De Lima’s case to David Kaye, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Dubrayka Simonovic, special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; and Diego Garcia-Sayan, special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.
Michael Varcas
UN rapporteurs to probe alleged violations vs De Lima
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - December 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has sought the release of Sen. Leila de Lima from detention as three special rapporteurs of the UN were tasked to investigate the alleged human rights violations committed against her by President Duterte and his allies.

According to De Lima’s camp, the UNHRC WGAD has formally referred De Lima’s case to David Kaye, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Dubrayka Simonovic, special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; and Diego Garcia-Sayan, special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.

In an opinion adopted by the WGAD on Aug. 24 and published on Nov. 30, the panel found sufficient grounds to probe the violations against De Lima’s rights as a duly-elected senator and a human rights defender.

Kaye is tasked to look into the alleged violations committed against De Lima for her “convictions and public statements regarding extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.”

Simonovic, on the other hand, is tasked to look into the supposed discrimination against De Lima due to her political opinion and her status as a human rights defender and as a woman.

Meanwhile, Garcia-Sayan is tasked to look into violations of De Lima’s right to a fair trial.

De Lima, one of the staunchest critics of Duterte, has been detained at Camp Crame since February 2017 on what she described as fabricated drug charges.

The UN panel has formally asked the Philippine government to immediately free De Lima from detention to allow her to fulfill her duties as a lawmaker and as a human rights defender.

“Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the appropriate remedy would be to release Ms. De Lima immediately and accord her an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law, including her reinstatement in the positions from which she was ousted,” the body said.

The panel found “that the current administration, including the President, has shown unfavorable intentions towards Ms. De Lima,” going by, among others, “the unfavorable remarks made publicly by the President and his allies against her after she expressed her intention to investigate the extrajudicial killings under the so-called war on drugs.”

It also expressed its particular concern at the sexist statements and attacks on De Lima’s personal life by the President and his political allies “that cast serious doubt on the government’s solemn undertaking to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights.” – With Paolo Romero

LEILA DE LIMA UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
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