De Lima among 187 ‘persecuted parliamentarians’ — IPU
MANILA, Philippines — Detained Senator Leila de Lima was among the 187 “persecuted members of parliament worldwide,” the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) said on Saturday.
The IPU also reiterated its call for the release of De Lima who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Quezon City due drug-related charges.
“The IPU has renewed its call for the immediate and unconditional release of Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima, whom it cited as one of the 187 persecuted members of parliament (MPs) worldwide,” IPU said in a statement.
In a resolution adopted in Doha, Qatar on April 6 to 10, 2019, IPU urged the Philippine government to “drop all politically-motivated charges against De Lima that were based on unsubstantiated statements of convicted felons.”
“In the Philippines, the IPU remains concerned that, more than two years after her arrest, Senator Leila de Lima is still in detention despite the absence of any corroborated evidence to justify the charges against her,” the parliamentarians’ union said.
The IPU also asked the government to allow an IPU trial observer “to monitor the legality and fairness of any trial proceedings” on the senator’s drug charges.
84 percent of opposition members are persecuted
The IPU said 84 percent of the 187 persecuted parliamentarians in the world are members of the opposition. Of the number, IPU said 25 percent of these were women.
“According to the IPU human rights panel, 84 percent of the 187 persecuted MPs across the world are members of the opposition. In several countries with records of human rights violations against MPs, it noted that 25 percent are women,” it said.
Aside from De Lima, IPU previously said they will investigate the political persecution of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV under the Duterte administration. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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