Durbin Statement On Continued Detention Of Philippine Senator Leila De Lima

CHICAGO—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement regarding the continued detention of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima by the government of the Philippines and President Rodrigo Duterte:

“Philippines human rights champion Senator Leila de Lima has been jailed for more than 1,000 days on highly questionable charges.  Her release, which has been championed by groups such as Amnesty International – and now the U.S. Congress – is unfortunately symbolic of the larger price one increasingly pays for peaceful dissent and honest journalism under President Duterte in the Philippines.  These voices, like de Lima's and Rappler journalist Maria Ressa’s, face harassment and imprisonment for fostering honest coverage regarding the country's sweeping extra-judicial killings, which is an affront to the cherished democratic norms we share with our long standing Filipino allies. 

“Illinois is proudly home to a vibrant, hardworking Filipino community.  The Duterte regime should stop threatening the travel of these Filipino Americans and so many others who travel between our nations, and instead release Senator de Lima or assure a quick and credible trial.  This strong-arm tactic is an insult to the Filipino American community and the country's democracy.”