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    NewsAsiaHRW urges UN to take 'strong action' to address 'serious' human rights situation in the Philippines

    HRW urges UN to take ‘strong action’ to address ‘serious’ human rights situation in the Philippines

    File – Activists and human rights defenders carry banners against President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. in Manila, Philippines. – RYAN EDUARD BENAID / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

    The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the UN Human Rights Council on Monday to adopt a resolution that addresses the “serious situation” of Human Rights in the Philippines, after the continuation of executions in the framework of the “war against drugs”.

    The organization denounces that the extrajudicial executions in the “war on drugs” of the Government of the Asian country, in operation since the now ex-president Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016, still occur regularly.

    Since June 30 of this year, the position of leader of the country is held by the son of the former president, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., and 72 drug-related murders have been recorded. In August, the government’s press secretary, Trixie Cruz-Angeles, assured that the “war on drugs” would continue under the new Administration.

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    “UN member states must not be fooled by the new Philippine government’s unfounded claims that the rights situation has suddenly improved,” said Lucy McKernan, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch.

    In this sense, McKernan has considered that “the continuous scrutiny of the Philippines by the UN is of vital importance because the murders of the ‘war on drugs’ continue to be common and police impunity for rights violations continues to be the norm. “.

    “UN member states must ensure that they do not drop the ball on the Philippines and instead strengthen the Human Rights Council’s efforts to improve human rights in the country,” McKernan said. “The Filipinos who suffered the most during the Duterte administration are looking to the Human Rights Council to help them achieve justice for themselves and their loved ones,” she added.

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    HRW has sent an informative document on the Philippine case to the member states of the Human Rights Council, which it will present at its 51st session. The report, indicates a statement from the organization, provides an update on the situation in the Philippines and an evaluation of the program of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    McKernan calls for the UN to recognize this crisis and adopt a resolution to create expanded monitoring mechanisms for violations. “This resolution should call on President Marcos to put an unequivocal end to the ‘war on drugs,'” reads the statement shared by HRW.

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    In this line, the resolution should urge the Executive to form a truth commission so that the victims, witnesses and families present their testimonies, and that the body make recommendations to obtain justice and reparation.

    The NGO asks that the president take immediate measures to improve the situation, while it has suggested that former senator Leila de Lima, detained for more than six years on false drug charges, be released; and that it appoint independent human rights experts as government commissioners to investigate and prosecute violations of said rights.

    Source: Europa Press


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