Philippines: An opponent of ex-president Duterte briefly taken hostage in prison

Philippines: An opponent of ex-president Duterte briefly taken hostage in prison

Leila de Lima, a human rights defender jailed in the Philippines, was briefly taken hostage on Sunday while trying to escape from three detainees who authorities say were eventually shot dead by police.

The incident took place at the National Police Headquarters, where the former senator has been detained for more than five years along with other high-ranking inmates.

A police officer was stabbed with a homemade knife, and then another officer shot dead two of the detainees, police said in a statement.

A third inmate ran to Ms de Lima’s cell and briefly held the 63-year-old woman hostage before she was also killed.

Ms. de Lima was not injured, police and her attorney said. An investigation was underway.

Leila de Lima, a bitter opponent of ex-President Rodrigo Duterte and his deadly war on drugs, is expected to appear in court again on Monday.

The activist and ex-senator has been jailed since 2017 on drug trafficking charges, which she and human rights groups have described as a farce of justice and revenge for pursuing Mr Duterte, whom Ferdinand Marcos Jr. replaced in June.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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