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‘Shero’ FTW! Canadian org recognizes De Lima

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Detained Senator Leila de Lima is named as one of the Women Sheroes of 2018 for her “extraordinary fight” to defend human rights.

The RINJ Foundation (RINJ), a Canada-based private, non-profit association of humanitarians listed with the United Nations, lauded her “for boldly challenging the Duterte administration’s inhumane policies that promote violence and killings.”

The RINJ made the citation in recognition of the women “who smooth the path of humanity for a future of innovation, opportunity and safety of children and their families.”

“Hardly a day goes by when Ms. de Lima is not in the news, challenging the murders in the Philippines,” the RINJ said in a statement.

The group described De Lima as “a known critic of the thousands of extrajudicial killings of mayors, clergymen, activists, homeless, poor, and drug users by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.”

“In February 2017, days after garnering international awards for her campaign against extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, she was arrested. She has been imprisoned without bail since February 2017,” it added.

On January 1, RINJ published its list of prominent and empowered women who continue to inspire thousands of people globally, especially women and children, for their work principles, and advocacies.

The women who shared the Women Sheroes of 2018 recognition with De Lima include United States Senator Elizabeth Ann Warren, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and Huawei Technologies Chair Yafong Sun, among others.

Several political prisoners and human rights defenders like De Lima also made it to RINJ’s list of seven Women Sheroes of 2018, including Huawei Technologies CFO Sabrina Meng, Muslim rights advocate sraa al-Ghomgham and Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul.

The RINJ described De Lima not just as a “Filipino lawyer, human rights activist, senator and law professor” but also “an extraordinary human rights defender.”

It noted that “her successor critic, a Senator Trillanes recently dodged imprisonment on a similar attempt by the sitting President which failed,”

The RINJ, which comprises of humanitarians–such as nurses, midwives, medics, EMS workers, doctors, lawyers, among others–has a mission not just to prevent rape and sexual assault crime but also to assist the survivors of these crimes and help them attain justice.

Despite her detention, De Lima continues to receive awards and recognitions here and abroad, such as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world in 2017 by the Time magazine, one of the leading Global Thinkers for 2016 and 2017 by Foreign Policy magazine, Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender for 2018 by Amnesty International, and one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders among others.

De Lima was detained at the Phil. National Police Custodial Center in February 2017 on drug charges.

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