“Something Must be Done:”
Why Nymia Simbulan Risks It All for Filipino Human Rights
By Carolyn Ziv, Fund Staff
December 11, 2017
Imagine being a young mother with two children, another on the way—and your husband in the crosshairs of your government’s intelligence agencies.
Imagine that, fearing for the safety of your children, you make the difficult decision to send them across an ocean to live with relatives.
Imagine witnessing your husband put behinds bars, unfairly imprisoned for speaking out against injustice.
And imagine that despite all of this, you persist.
Filipina activist Nymia Pimentel Simbulan doesn’t have to imagine; this is her reality. But instead of being silenced, Nymia channeled these experiences into her activism. Today, she is the Executive Director of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights), a grantee of the Fund for Global Human Rights that investigates, exposes, and advocates for an end to human rights abuses.
With PhilRights emerging as a vocal critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing “war on drugs,” Nymia’s work is risky. But like so many of the women activists the Fund supports, Nymia refuses to give up when the going gets tough. It’s a persistence she has demonstrated since her days as a student activist protesting an authoritarian regime—a peaceful resistance that landed Nymia herself in jail.
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