Global help sought to end Philippine drug war

2019-07-09 at 07:58

Amnesty International urgently called for international pressure and an immediate UN investigation to help end what it says are possible crimes against humanity in the Philippine president’s bloody anti-drug crackdown.

The rights watchdog said in a study that extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s 3-year-old campaign remain rampant and the scale of abuses has reached “the threshold of crimes against humanity.”

About 6,600 people, most of them accused of petty drug crimes, have been killed in the crackdown Duterte launched as his centerpiece project when he took office in mid-2016.

But nongovernment groups claim a much higher death toll, including many suspects killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen human rights groups suspect were financed by police officers.

Duterte and the police have denied any authorization of extrajudicial killings.

Duterte, however, has repeatedly threatened drug suspects with death in televised speeches and encouraged law enforcers to shoot suspects who fight back.

He has warned that the crackdown will be more dangerous for suspects in the final three years of his six-year term.