UN body urged: Probe Duterte ‘war on drugs’
As the 47-member UN Human Rights Council (HRC) convened for its 47th session on Monday, a rights group once again called on the international body to reinforce the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) possible opening of a full-blown investigation into President Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.
In a statement, progressive rights group Karapatan noted the continuing number of deaths under the five-year campaign a week after former ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced she sought judicial authorization to open an investigation here before she stepped down on June 15.
During its last session, the UNHRC approved a resolution calling for technical assistance and capacity-building into the rights situation in the Philippines, falling far short of expectations that it would open a full-blown probe into the twin conduct of the drug war and Mr. Duterte’s crackdown on communists.
Together, both campaigns have led to thousands of arrests, detentions, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings (EJK), rights advocates say. Bensouda’s damning 57-page request—which argued that the extent of the violence committed under the drug war, as well as Mr. Duterte’s rhetoric and the actions of the country’s top officials, all indicated that there was a “state policy to attack civilians.” (See related story on Page A4.)
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said the lack of prosecutions and convictions of suspects made it clear that there were no effective domestic mechanisms for redress here, despite the Department of Justice’s high-level review of EJKs in the drug war.
Now was the time, she added, for the council’s member states to reconsider the earlier resolution and to “work toward an independent investigation on the human rights situation” here.
“The findings of ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda … should be taken as a strong message by those at the UNHRC to undertake a decisive, thorough and comprehensive investigation into the human rights situation in the country through independent and transparent accountability mechanisms,” she said. INQ
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