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APF deeply concerned about the safety of former CHR Chairperson, Leila de Lima

Graphic: Senator Leila de Lima

The APF is deeply concerned about the safety of former CHR Chairperson, Leila de Lima, following a recent hostage-taking incident.

Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) is deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of Senator Leila de Lima, former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, following a recent life-threating hostage-taking incident.

On 9 October, Senator De Lima was taken hostage in her cell by three persons attempting to escape the custodial center of the Philippine National Police. Three Islamic State militants were killed by police during the incident which also saw a police officer stabbed and gravely injured.

Senator de Lima, a critic of former President Duterte’s war on drugs which has brought about controversies over serious human rights violations, related to numerous cases of extra-judicial execution, was arrested on drug related charges in February 2017, and has remained in pre-trial detention.

The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 9) and related human rights laws establish that pre-trial detention shall be the exceptional, based on its necessity and proportionality, and should only be used for a limited period of time, prohibiting arbitrary detention. Also, international law provides that Government has an obligation to guarantee the effective protection of the safety of persons deprived of liberty.  

We call for immediate measures of the Philippine authorities to guarantee her safety in pretrial detention and the application of due legal process, in compliance of the international human rights laws and principles.

~ Doo-Hwan Song, APF Chairperson 

Date: 14 October 2022 

Download the media statement here

Media contact: apf@asiapacificforum.net

Image credits

  1. Senator Leila de Lima - CHR Philippines