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UNHRC-WGAD refers De Lima case to 3 rapporteurs

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PHILSTAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

THE UNITED Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has referred Senator Leila M. De Lima’s case to three special rapporteurs for investigation on her alleged unjust detention.

In a statement issued by Ms. De Lima’s camp on Friday, the formal referral of her case was part of the recommendations officially adopted by the UNHRC-WGAD in its opinion during its 82nd session last Aug. 24 and published on Nov. 30

The UN Working Group referred the case to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Dubravka Simonovic, and UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego Garcia-Sayan.

According to the UN body, the case was referred to the special rapporteurs after it found sufficient grounds that Ms. De Lima’s rights were violated as a duly-elected senator and a human rights defender.

“The Working Group concludes that the violations of Ms. De Lima’s rights to a fair trial are of such gravity as to render her deprivation of liberty arbitrary,” the Opinion stated.

The office of Ms. De Lima also noted that the special rapporteurs will look into the alleged violations committed against the senator for her statements on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, gender-discrimination against the senator, the violations of the senator’s rights for a fair trial.

Sought for comment, presidential spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said the UNHRC-WGAD is already intruding into the sovereignty of the country.

“They have been saying that and we’ve been saying that the problem with you people is you’re listening to the critics of this administration… There is a process in this country and we follow that process. They are there because probable cause was found. That’s why information was filed against this accused,” Mr. Panelo said at a televised press briefing at the Palace on Friday. — Camille A. Aguinaldo





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