[In the news] Rights Experts Urge U.N. Inquiry Into ‘Staggering’ Killings in Philippines -The New York Times

GENEVA — A group of United Nations human rights experts called on Friday for an international inquiry into the state of human rights in the Philippines because of the “staggering number” of unlawful killings by the security services and official attacks on people and institutions who defend human rights there.

In a strongly worded condemnation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s three-year rule, 11 United Nations special rapporteurs said the body’s Human Rights Council should set up an independent investigation “given the scale and seriousness of the reported human rights violations” and the climate of official impunity in which they occur.

“We have recorded a staggering number of unlawful deaths and police killings in the context of the so-called war on drugs, as well as killings of human rights defenders,” the experts said.

The joint statement, by an unusually large group of experts, seeks to galvanize international action in the Human Rights Council, which convenes a new session this month. Diplomats in Geneva, where the council is based, said that the Philippines was lobbying officials there against any council action. The Duterte administration had no immediate comment.

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