Rights orgs urge ICC to resume drug war probe

    Human rights organizations have urged the International Criminal Court to continue its investigation into crimes against humanity committed in the Philippines in connection with President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug campaign, including suspected executions in Davao City during his stint as mayor.
    Human rights organizations, notably Karapatan and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, have stated in a joint statement to ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan that the government has made no commitment to serve justice to thousands of people slain during the drug war.

    METRO MANILA, Philippines — According to the groups, the review being done by the Department of Justice only covered a small number of cases. With only one criminal conviction out of 6,000 fatalities, the government continues to refuse to work with the Commission on Human Rights, said the groups.

    They said, “relatives of victims remain fearful of reprisals shoould they cooperate with independent investigations.”

    “What we see is a government that has used domestic mechanisms only to shield perpetrators from international accountability,” they told Mr Khan in the letter.

    Malacañan said, however, it still had to decide whether it would respond to ICC’s request to provide “substantiating information” on the investigations being done by the government into the allegations against Duterte.

    Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles reiterated that the government might communicate with Mr Khan without waiving its stand that the tribunal no longer has jurisdiction over the Philippines.

    “Again, while we do not waive our position that the ICC lacks jurisdiction to probe our campaign against illegal drugs, this does not preclude the Duterte administration from communicating with the ICC. (RA/The MiNT)

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