Philippines: UN report shows urgent need for international investigation

Responding to a UN report on the human rights situation in the Philippines released today, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific regional director, Nicholas Bequelin, said:

“This long-awaited report is a damning indictment of the Philippine’s ‘war on drugs’. “This failed ‘war’ has seen thousands murdered by the police as part of a widespread and systematic attack against poor communities in the name of combatting drugs. Like the UN, we are deeply concerned by the total impunity enjoyed by those who have perpetrated these crimes, which has allowed for the proliferation of further serious human rights violations in the country.“

The report makes clear the critical need for further investigation into these violations. The UN Human Rights Council must now launch an independent international investigative mechanism on extrajudicial executions and other violations committed since 2016.

“Such a mechanism would be a vital step towards addressing the near-total impunity fuelling ongoing human rights violations in the Philippines, some of which amount to crimes against humanity.

“The international community must support this effort and send a clear signal that it will not look the other way while people continue to be killed. It must stand with the countless victims, their families and all human rights defenders bravely challenging the Duterte administration’s atrocities. It is imperative to put an end to the failed strategies documented in today’s report, pursue justice and reparations, and promote new drug policies based on public health and human rights.”