UN Member States Denounce Philippines’ ‘Drug War’ Killings
Manila Dismisses Criticism During Human Rights Review
(Geneva, May 8, 2017) – Numerous United Nations member countries expressed grave concerns about thousands of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines’ “war on drugs,” at the country’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on May 8, 2017. Under the UPR, the human rights situation in each UN member country is reviewed every four years, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Countries from every UN region expressed concern over the deaths in connection with the drug war, with many calling for probes into the killings, and accountability for perpetrators.*
At least 7,000 people, mostly poor urban residents, have been killed in connection with the “drug war” since June 30, the day President Rodrigo Duterte took office. Duterte has repeatedly urged the killing of drug dealers and users, stating for example on August 6, 2016: “My order is to shoot to kill you. I don’t care about human rights, you better believe me.”
“The Philippines is facing a growing chorus of international concern at the human cost of President Duterte’s murderous ‘war on drugs,’” said John Fisher, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch. “The government’s denial and deflection of criticism shows it has no intention of complying with its international obligations. The Human Rights Council should establish an international inquiry and, if killings without accountability continue, reconsider the Philippines’ council membership.”
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