Tag Archives: U.N.

[In the news] U.N. rights chief: Deaths in PH anti-drug operations a ‘most serious concern’ -RAPPLER.com

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday, June 24, expressed concern over the “extraordinarily high number of deaths” in the Philippines in the context of President Rodrigo Duterte’s continuing anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Even the officially confirmed number of 5,425 deaths would be a matter of most serious concern for any country,” she said in a statement delivered during the 41st session of the council in Geneva, Switzerland.

“My office is following the situation of human rights in the Philippines very closely,” Bachelet added.

The number cited in the rights chief’s statement only covers suspected drug personalities killed during police operations, as stated by the government. Human rights groups peg the total death toll to more than 20,000 to include those killed vigilante-style. (READ: The Impunity Series)

Out of all the killings, Rappler found that the government has let thousands go unsolved.

Bachelet also said she supports the calls of UN special rapporteurs for the UN Human Rights Council to conduct an independent investigation into the killings.

Read more @www.rappler.com

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[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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[From the web] Independent Investigation of Duterte Needed Allegations of Direct Involvement in Death Squads Call for UN Role -HRW

Philippines: Independent Investigation of Duterte Needed
Allegations of Direct Involvement in Death Squads Call for UN Role

200px-Hrw_logo.svg(New York, September 16, 2016) – The Philippine government should invite an independent investigation involving the United Nations into allegations of direct involvement by President Rodrigo Duterte in extrajudicial killings, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 15, 2016, an admitted former “hit man,” Edgar Matobato, testified at a Philippine Senate hearing about the alleged killings of about 1,000 people in Davao City involving Duterte, who was the city’s mayor for more than two decades.

“The detailed testimony from a ‘death squad’ member that then-Mayor Duterte was personally involved in killings and ordered others are very serious allegations that require an independent investigation,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “President Duterte can’t be expected to investigate himself, so it is crucial that the United Nations is called in to lead such an effort. Otherwise, Filipinos may never know if the president was directly responsible for extrajudicial killings.”

Matobato, a member of the Davao City “death squad” from 1988 to 2003, said he himself killed about 50 people under direct orders from then-Mayor Duterte. “Our job was to kill criminals, rapists, [drug] pushers and snatchers,” Matobato testified. “We killed people almost on a daily basis.” He also described witnessing Duterte “[empty] two Uzi magazines” on a National Bureau of Investigation official in 1993.

Since Duterte took office on June 30, more than 2,000 people have been killed in his self-proclaimed “war on drugs.” The most recent Philippine National Police data shows that from July 1 to September 4, police killed an estimated 1,011 suspected “drug pushers and users,” more than 14 times the 68 such police killings recorded between January 1 and June 15. Police blame the killings on suspects who “resisted arrest and shot at police officers,” but refuse to launch an investigation into the deaths.

In 2009, Human Rights Watch published “‘You Can Die Any Time’: Death Squad Killings in Mindanao,” which details the involvement of police and local government officials in targeted death squad killings in Davao City during Duterte’s time as mayor. Another Human Rights Watch report from 2014, “‘One Shot to the Head’: Death Squad Killings in Tagum City, Philippines,” documents police involvement in what appeared to be a copycat policy of extrajudicial killings in a city close to Davao City.

To read the Human Rights Watch report, “‘You Can Die Any Time’: Death Squad Killings in Mindanao,” please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/04/06/you-can-die-any-time/death-squad-killings-mindanao

To read the Human Rights Watch report, “‘One Shot to the Head’: Death Squad Killings in Tagum City, Philippines,” please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/05/20/one-shot-head/death-squad-killings-tagum-city-philippines

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/asia/philippines

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