Posts Tagged ‘Amnesty International’

Philippines: Amnesty International Says Changes to Duterte’s Drug War are Only a “PR” Move — Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

October 13, 2017
 
The recent decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to designate the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the lead office to conduct the war on drugs could just be a “PR” move by the government, according to Amenesty International. Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times/World Press Photo via AP, File

MANILA, Philippines — Amnesty International said on Friday that the recent decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to shift the responsibility of pursuing his ferocious campaign to eradicate narcotics to the country’s anti-drugs agency could just be a “short-term” public relations move meant to appease the growing opposition to it.

Duterte this week signed an order designating the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the main office in pursuing drug operations and relegated the Philippine National Police to a supporting role.

READ:  FLAG chair: Order for PDEA to lead drug war confusing

James Gomez, the watchdog’s international director of southeast Asia and the Pacific, said that the decision to put PDEA in charge of the government war on drugs was just meant to squelch public furor over the mounting number of dead people most of whom are poor and young.

The AI official said that the president had done this before when the police were temporarily ordered to cease conducting anti-drugs raids following the outrage over the discovery that cops belonging to the PNP’s anti-drugs unit were involved in the kidnapping, extortion and killing of a South Korean businessman inside its national headquarters in Camp Crame.

He added that the announcement would have little “meaningful” impact  and urged the president to discard altogether “the government’s fundamental policy of supporting extrajudicial executions of drug suspects.”

“President Duterte has pulled police off drug operations once before, in January this year, only to reinstate them a few weeks later,” Gomez said in a statement reacting to the Philippine leader’s announcement.

“We are concerned that this too may be nothing but a short-term PR move in response to growing public outrage about the drug war’s many victims, which are overwhelmingly poor, and include children,” he added.

Based on the latest survey of polling firm SWS, the president’s approval ratings plunged by 18 points in September.

The president’s office said that this plunge was because the survey was conducted just days after Duterte declared a national day of protest to allow Filipinos to air their grievances against the government.

Another survey by rival Pulse Asia however demonstrated that Duterte had maintained trust and approval ratings of 80 percent.

The announcement of the president also came in the wake of a string of police killings of teenagers in August sparked a widespread public condemnation of brutality and disrespect for due process, something that the 15-month-old administration of the former Davao City mayor had never seen.

Gomez said that what the government should do was to end its “murderous ‘war on drugs'” and adopt a policy that would respect and protect human rights.

“It is also crucial that there is accountability for the thousands of killings carried out already, many by police officers, and that those responsible are held to account,” he said.

READ:  Opposition senators: Change of lead agency not enough; shift drug policy, too

The AI official warned that the killings, which may constitute a crime against humanity, would continue as shooters just happened to be doning different uniforms.

The AI and Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights campaigner, have both released early this year excoriating reports on the government’s war on drugs that detailed police shortcuts and payments to kill drug suspects.

Image may contain: text

Duterte in response blasted these international groups and governments for what he saw as “interference.”

On Thursday, he mistakenly blasted the European Union and threatened to cut diplomatic ties to its member-states over statements by a group parliamentarians warning the government that it risked losing preferential trade arrangements if it would continue with the campaign.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/10/13/1748432/amnesty-international-pdea-lead-drug-war-agency-pr-move

Advertisements

Amnesty International Secretary General Says President Duterte Runs a “War on the Poor” — “The national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from murder”

October 8, 2017
Speaking about corruption during the One Young World Summit on Thursday (Friday in Manila), AI secretary general Salil Shetty cited Duterte as among the world leaders who fail to directly address significant issues hounding their respective constituencies. PCOO/Released

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – An official of international human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) criticized President Duterte during a youth summit here attended by over 1,300 international delegates.

Speaking about corruption during the One Young World Summit on Thursday (Friday in Manila), AI secretary general Salil Shetty cited Duterte as among the world leaders who fail to directly address significant issues hounding their respective constituencies.

“What (Donald) Trump is doing in the United States is not unique to the US,” Shetty said, referring to the US President’s controversial policies such as the ban on Muslims and refugees.

“Instead of dealing with issues such as corruption, inequality, discrimination, racial injustices, what he does and other leaders – take Duterte in the Philippines for example and (Prime Minister Viktor) Orbán in Hungary – instead of dealing with real issues, they divert their attention and (they use) particular parts of the community (as scapegoats),” he added.

Shetty did not provide additional details in his speech, although the organization is known to be a critic of Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs and the Hungarian government’s recent policy on foreign funding for non-government organizations.

AI claimed that the Philippine government may be held liable for crimes against humanity over the death of thousands in the so-called war on drugs.

“This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” the group claimed in its report in January.

“Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” it added.

The Philippine government has denied the claims and maintained that the campaign is necessary to address the drug problem in the country.

In his speech, Shetty maintained that AI is a non-partisan organization that is focused on ensuring human rights for all.

“Amnesty International just says the truth the way it is. It doesn’t beat around the bush. We have no political agenda, no religious, no economic, no orthodoxy. The only thing we do is we stand up for human rights,” he said.

Youth vs. corruption

During the summit, Shetty and other advocates urged the youth to take part in efforts to address corruption and seek accountability from officials.

“Corruption affects everybody, but there is no question that it affects the poor, the marginalized, the voiceless significantly more,” he said.

“Young people are standing up against injustice, against corruption. It’s not that you always win that battle, it’s a tough battle, but victories are not uncommon,” he added.

Thuli Madonsela, former public protector of South Africa who is in charge of investigating misconduct of government officials, said the problem of corruption is systemic all around world.

“Young people should use technology to hold governments accountable,” she said.

“They need to send strong messages to those who want to govern that say that if you don’t end corruption, we will not vote for you,” added Madonsela, who is also part of the team that drafted South Africa’s constitution signed by former president Nelson Mandela.

Nobel Peace Prize 2011 laureate Tawakkol Karman said states need to put into place legislation that tackles corruption and promotes transparency.

“If we want to fight corruption, we need a strong constitution, stable institutions and strict laws,” she said.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/10/08/1746642/ai-exec-hits-duterte-colombian-youth-summit

Thousands of Qatar World Cup workers ‘subject to life-threatening heat’ — Blockading nations critical of Qatar on human rights grounds….

September 27, 2017

By 
The Guardian

Tuesday 26 September 2017 

Image may contain: one or more people and people standingQatar’s Supreme Committee opened Khalifa International Stadium, the first completed 2022 World Cup venue, in May 2017. Photograph: Neville Hopwood/Getty Images for Qatar 2022

Many thousands of migrant workers on construction sites in Qatar, including those building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, are being subjected to potentially life-threatening heat and humidity, according to new research on the extreme summer conditions in the Gulf. Hundreds of workers are dying every year, the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in a strong statement, but they claim that the Qatar authorities have refused to make necessary information public or adequately investigate the deaths, which could be caused by labouring in the region’s fierce climate.

HRW argues that millions of workers are in jeopardy, including those in the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – because statutory work breaks imposed during summer midday hours do not protect them sufficiently. An analysis of the weather in Doha last summer has also shown that workers on World Cup construction projects were in danger, despite the more advanced system used by the tournament organiser, Humidex, which measures safety levels of heat and humidity.

“Enforcing appropriate restrictions on outdoor work and regularly investigating and publicising information about worker deaths is essential to protect the health and lives of construction workers in Qatar,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director, said. “Limiting work hours to safe temperatures, not set by a clock or calendar, is well within the capacity of the Qatari government and will help protect hundreds of thousands of workers.”

In 2012, the Qatari government revealed 520 people from Bangladesh, India and Nepal – whose citizens travel in their hundreds of thousands to do construction work in the Gulf – had died. Of these, 385, or almost three-quarters, had died “from causes that the authorities neither explained nor investigated”, HRW said. Last year the Qatari government told HRW that 35 workers died, “mostly from falls, presumably at construction sites”, but this did not take into account hundreds more people who died from heart attacks and other “natural causes”, patchily reported by their countries’ embassies and unexplained by the authorities.

The “Supreme Committee” organising the 2022 World Cup, which Fifa originally voted in 2010 could be played in the summer but has since been moved to winter, is striving to enact higher welfare standards than those generally applied for the two million migrant workers in Qatar. It has disclosed that 10 workers on World Cup projects died between October 2015 and July this year, classifying eight of these, three of them men in their 20s, as “non-work related” because they resulted from cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. HRW argues that these classifications are meaningless, effectively only a statement that the person has died because their heart and breathing stopped.

HRW said in its statement that such descriptions “obscure the underlying cause of deaths and make it impossible to determine whether [the workers’ deaths] may be related to working conditions, such as heat stress.”

One World Cup construction worker who died, Jaleshwar Prasad, 48, was stated by the Supreme Committee to have suffered cardiac arrest, with the hospital reporting that “work duties were not a contributory factor”. The temperature in Qatar the day before Prasad died, 26 April 2016, peaked at 39C, HRW said.

Nicholas McGeehan, who carried out the research for HRW, accused the Qatari government and the Supreme Committee of a “wilful abdication of responsibility” for the health and safety of workers.

“Their heat protection system is inappropriate and data shows that its enforcement is seriously deficient,” McGeehan said. “That means they are putting stadium workers’ lives at risk.”

Outdoor workers generally in Qatar must not be made to work between 11.30am and 3pm from 15 June to 31 August, according to a government decree issued in 2007. HRW describes that measure, which it said is broadly reproduced by the other GCC countries, as “rudimentary” because it does not relate breaks to the actual working conditions outside those hours.

Analysis of the UK Meteorological Office climate record for Doha last year, seen by the Guardian, showed that according to the Humidex measure, it was not safe for an acclimatised person to do even moderately strenuous work outside, for 1,176 hours, including night time. The statutory government break added up to only 273 hours last summer, while the Supreme Committee, using the Humidex system, said that it imposed only an additional 150 hours of breaks to that government total.

HRW has called on the Qatari and other Gulf country authorities, including the Supreme Committee, to use a different heat stress measure, the wet bulb global temperature (WBGT), which also takes sunlight into account, to avoid “potentially fatal heat-related illnesses.”

The extreme climate in the Gulf, measured against the WBGT and the Humidex system, makes working at almost any time of day or night in July, August and the first half of September dangerous, McGeehan said.

Approximately two million immigrants do the overwhelming bulk of manual work in Qatar, where the indigenous population, the world’s wealthiest on average due to the country’s vast reserves of natural gas, numbers only around 300,000. Approximately 800,000 men from the poorer south Asian countries work on the country’s huge construction projects, including 12,000, expected to rise to 35,000, building the World Cup stadiums. During the hot months, migrant workers are frequently the only people seen spending any extended time outside the country’s air-conditioned buildings and vehicles.

The HRW statement criticises the Qatari government for failing to implement the recommendations of a 2014 report by the law firm DLA Piper, which the government itself commissioned. The report followed an international outcry over the number of workers dying in Qatar just as the massive new infrastructure programme was being commissioned.

It noted that the number of deaths in Qatar attributed to cardiac arrest was “seemingly high” and called for transparent publication and investigation, including a legal reform to permit postmortem examinations in cases of sudden deaths. That recommendation has also not been implemented and legal constraints continue. HRW argues that this has prevented inquiries being conducted into how workers are dying and adequate measures being put in place to protect their health and safety.

“We need data on deaths, new laws on heat protection and immediate investigations, otherwise the death toll will continue to rise,” McGeehan said.

The Supreme Committee sent the Guardian a detailed explanation of how its breaks system works using the Humidex measure, and of the restrictions on postmortems in Qatar, but has not yet responded to the criticisms.

A spokesman for the Qatari government said it is committed to labour reforms, and confirmed that it did make public last year deaths and injuries that were “work-related”.

“The government investigates all migrant worker deaths in Qatar and coordinates with the embassies of labour-sending countries to repatriate the deceased,” the spokesman said.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/27/thousands-qatar-world-cup-workers-life-threatening-heat

Fires rage in Rakhine as Myanmar army blames Rohingya for mosque blast

September 23, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Smoke billows from a fire in an area in Myanmar’s Rakhine state as seen from the Bangladeshi shore of the Naf river on September 14, 2017

SITTWE (MYANMAR) (AFP) – Myanmar’s army chief on Saturday blamed Rohinyga militants for an explosion outside a mosque in Rakhine state, as a rights group accused the military of starting fires in the region to prevent refugees from returning.The unrest comes days after Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi declared troops had ceased “clearance operations” in the border area that have forced more than 430,000 Rohingya refugees to flee for Bangladesh in under a month.

The army claims it is targeting Rohingya militants who attacked police posts on August 25. But its operation has been so sweeping and brutal that the UN says it likely amounts to “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslim minority, a group reviled by many in the mainly Buddhist country.

Image may contain: 1 person, hat and sunglasses

 Min Aung Hlaing

On Saturday Myanmar’s commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing posted a statement on Facebook saying Rohingya militants planted a “home-made mine” that exploded in between a mosque and madrasa in northern Rakhine’s Buthidaung township on Friday.

The army chief accused the militants of trying to drive out around 700 hundred villagers who have remained in Mi Chaung Zay — an argument analysts have said makes little sense for a group whose power depends on the networks it has built across Rohingya communities.

Image result for Min Aung Hlaing, photos

Min Aung Hlaing and Aung San Suu Kyi

“As our villagers did not want to leave their homes, the terrorists blew up the bomb during the prayer time as a way of terrorizing the villagers,” the army chief’s statement said.

“It is the act of ARSA terrorist group,” it added, using an acronym for the Rohingya militant group whose raids on police posts in August triggered the military backlash.

No one was reported injured in the explosion.

With the government blocking access to the conflict zone, it is difficult to verify the swirl of claims and counterclaims over who is driving the unrest, which has also displaced tens of thousands of Buddhists and Hindus.

But rights groups say there is overwhelming evidence that the army is using its crackdown on militants to systematically purge the 1.1-million strong stateless Rohingya from its borders.

– Fires and land mines –

On Friday Amnesty International said new videos and satellite imagery confirmed fires were still ripping through Rohingya villages, scores of which have already been burned to the ground.

“Not satisfied with simply forcing Rohingya from their homes, authorities seem intent on ensuring they have no homes to return to,” said Tirana Hasan from Amnesty.

According to government figures, nearly 40 percent of Rohingya villages in nothern Rakhine have been completely abandoned over the past month.

Many of those who stayed behind are now living in isolated Muslim communities, gripped by fear and cut off from crucial aid, according to the UN’s humanitarian coordination office, UNOCHA.

“Following continuous threats from local Rakhine people to leave, many of these vulnerable people are so terrified that they are calling the Government, the UN and others asking for additional measures to protect them,” UNOCHA said in its latest update.

Human Rights Watch on Saturday also echoed allegations from Bangladeshi officials that Myanmar security forces were laying landmines along the border, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have crossed in the largest mass refugee movement in recent decades.

“The dangers faced by thousands of Rohingya fleeing atrocities in Burma are deadly enough without adding landmines to the mix,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s South Asia director.

“The Burmese military needs to stop using these banned weapons, which kill and maim without distinction.”

FILE - A man stands in front of a mosque as it burns in Meikhtila, Myanmar, March 21, 2013. A high-level government official in Myanmar’s Rakhine State is set on demolishing hundreds of buildings, including mosques and Islamic religious schools.

FILE – A man stands in front of a mosque as it burns in Meikhtila, Myanmar, March 21, 2013. A high-level government official in Myanmar’s Rakhine State is set on demolishing hundreds of buildings, including mosques and Islamic religious schools.

Reactions to speech by Myanmar’s Suu Kyi on violence in Rakhine State

September 19, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, child

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech to the nation over Rakhine and Rohingya situation, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar September 19, 2017. REUTERS – Soe Zeya Tun

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) – Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday gave her first address to the nation since attacks by Rohingya Muslim insurgents on Aug. 25 sparked a military response that has forced more than 410,000 Rohingya into neighboring Bangladesh.

Suu Kyi condemned human rights violations and said anyone responsible would face the law but she did not address U.N. accusations that the military campaign in Rakhine state was “textbook” ethnic cleansing.

Here are some reactions to her speech from diplomats, aid agency officials, human rights groups and others:

JAMES GOMEZ, Amnesty International regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

“Aung San Suu Kyi today demonstrated that she and her government are still burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine State.”

PHIL ROBERTSON, Human Rights Watch deputy director, Asia Division.

In response to Suu Kyi’s statement that army clearance operations have ceased since Sept. 5 – “If that is true, then who is burning all the villages we’ve seen in the past two weeks?”

TIN MAUNG SWE, secretary of the Rakhine State government

He praised Suu Kyi for her “transparency” but was not optimistic about her pledge to promote harmony between Muslims and the largely Buddhist ethnic Rakhine communities in the state.

“The situation is ready to explode. It just needs a single spark.”

SEIN WIN, Myanmar defense minister

“We will protect the ones who are in line with the law … There are still many Muslim villages. We are taking good care of them,” he said, as he arrived for Suu Kyi’s speech.

PAUL EDWARDS, UNICEF deputy representative in Myanmar

“We have to take at face value what she said about there being no further military operation since Sept 5. But of course none of us really know what’s happening there if we’re not there.”

MARZUKI DARUSMAN, chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar

“Two main issues emerge … the categorical readiness of the government of Myanmar to receive back returnees at any time on the basis of a procedure that will have to be discussed at some point. And secondly, the readiness of the government to undertake to be globally scrutinized by the international community. These two points bode well.”

HONG LIANG, Chinese ambassador to Myanmar

“China’s position is very clear. We support the Myanmar government’s effort to restore the peace and stability in Rakhine.”

NIKOLAY A. LISTOPADOV, Russian ambassador to Myanmar

“There are not reliable proofs, evidence to make such a condemnation, genocide and ethnic cleansing, no evidence.”

ANDREW KIRKWOOD, United Nations Office for Project Services director and representative in Myanmar

He welcomed Suu Kyi’s announcement that diplomats could travel to Rakhine state to see the situation for themselves.

“I think that that is a positive statement and we wait to see what follow-up there is.”

NI LAR THEIN, Yangon resident attending an open-air broadcast of Suu Kyi’s speech, which was in English.

“Mother Suu gave a speech today so that the whole world can know what’s actually happening in our country. We come here to show our support for her, no matter if we understand the speech or not.”

Reporting by Myanmar bureau, Tom Miles in GENEVA; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Vietnam jails former political prisoner for five years

September 18, 2017

AFP

© AFP | All media in Vietnam is government-controlled, but activists have turned to social media in recent years to voice grievances, with many — including prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh — arrested or jailed as a result
HANOI (AFP) – A former political prisoner in Vietnam was jailed Monday for a second time after being found guilty of violating the terms of his house arrest, as the one-party state cracks down on critics.Rights groups say at least 15 dissidents have been arrested since January in Vietnam, where a new administration in charge since last year has been accused of tightening already tough controls on freedom of expression.

Catholic activist Nguyen Van Oai was sentenced to five years in jail on Monday for failing to comply with terms of his house arrest and resisting public officers, his lawyer told AFP after the half-day trial in the central province of Nghe An.

Vietnam arrest human rights defenders Tran ThiNga & Nguyen Van Oai

“The court delivered a very unfair verdict based on its biased views,” attorney Ha Huy Son said.

Oai, 36, was convicted in 2013 along with 12 other activists of plotting to overthrow the government — a common charge levied against government critics.

He was sentenced to four years in jail and ordered to serve another four years under house arrest.

He was re-arrested in January after he violated the terms of his house arrest and “strongly resisted” the orders of local officials, the state-run Ho Chi Minh City Law online newspaper said.

Vietnam has long been criticised by advocacy groups for its dismal human rights record. It routinely jails bloggers, lawyers and activists accused of criticising the state.

Though all media in Vietnam is government-controlled, activists have turned to social media in recent years to voice grievances and promote freedom of expression.

Many have been arrested or handed heavy jail terms as a result.

In June prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as “Mother Mushroom”, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for anti-state propaganda for her online posts about the environment and politics, including an investigation into deaths in police custody.

The following month anti-China activist Tran Thi Nga was given nine years in jail for posting online articles deemed critical of the state.

In late July four dissidents were arrested on charges of trying to overthrow the government. The group was connected to a lawyer and activist who were previously arrested on the same charge, which carries the death penalty.

Amnesty International says at least 15 activists and government critics have been detained since January this year.

Philippines Orders Retraining, Reassignment of 1,200 Police After Alleged Abuses — No word on “kill policy”

September 15, 2017

MANILA — The Philippine capital’s police chief ordered that the entire 1,200-member police force in one of Manila’s biggest areas be relieved of duty and retrained on Friday in response to a series of controversies, including the killing of two teenagers.

Metro Manila’s top officer Oscar Albayalde said all police personnel in the Caloocan area of the capital would undergo retraining and reorientation before being reassigned to other police units, not necessarily in Manila.

“We will start with the city’s police precincts 2 and 7,” Albayalde said. All personnel in Caloocan’s headquarters and seven precincts would be temporarily replaced by the regional public safety battalion, a combat-trained unit.

“This will be done in batches,” he said.

Image may contain: 1 person

President Duterte

Albayalde did not say how long the retraining would last and how long it would take for the entire police force in Caloocan to be replaced.

It is the first time an entire city police unit has been relieved of its duties since President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed his bloody crackdown against illegal drugs 15 months ago, a campaign that has killed thousands of Filipinos.

The move comes amid intense scrutiny of police activities in Caloocan in the wake of the killing of 17-year old Kian Loyd Delos Santos last month in what police said was an anti-drugs operation.

His lawyers and family say he was murdered in cold blood. Three officers involved in his killing say he fired at them and they acted in self-defense.

Duterte, known for his frequent speeches that call for drug dealers to be killed, ordered a thorough investigation into the Delos Santos killing and warned police he would not tolerate abuses.

Another teenager, Carl Arnaiz, suffered a similar fate, accused of trying to rob a taxi driver and shooting at police who tried to arrest him. The taxi driver told reporters on Sunday he saw him alive in custody.

About two dozen Caloocan residents, holding placards saying “Stop the Killings”, held a noisy protest outside the precinct’s police headquarters. Dozens of police trainees stood in front and watched the protest.

Friday’s order came only a day after Philippine media reported members of the Caloocan precinct 4 raided an elderly woman’s home and reportedly stole money in an incident captured on closed circuit television cameras. Reuters could not confirm the report independently.

Activists accuse police of executing suspected users and dealers systematically during anti-drugs operations and say official reports that say victims violently resisted arrest are implausible, and contrary to witness accounts.

Police reject those allegations and Duterte has been furious at critics and political opponents who say he has a “kill policy”.

The video of the alleged robbery was uploaded on social media sites and went viral, which angered senior police generals. Albayalde immediately issued the orders to relieve the Caloocan precincts.

“From what we have seen this has been done or will continue to be done by others so it is best to implement this preemptive measure to avoid similar incidents,” Albayalde told reporters.

He warned other districts in Manila could face similar sanctions if they did not shape up.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Martin Petty and Paul Tait)

Related:

Image result for dela rosa crying, Philippines, September 2017, photos

Director General Ronald dela Rosa (center), chief of the Philippine National Police, cries (as he often does) before the start of a Senate investigation on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, on the death of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was killed in an alleged drug crackdown, last Aug. 16. The killing has sparked public outrage over President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs. (Photo by AARON FAVILA / AP)

Related:

Ronald Dela Rosa

Philippines police chief cries during Senate inquiry into corruption within the force — December 2016

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/philippines-police-chief-breaks-down-during-senate-inquiry-pledges-loyalty-duterte-1593134

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

PNP Chief Bato showed his soft side in July 2016 — Good actor. Could be a bad cop. Rule of law disregarded more often than not….

 (Philippines has chosen to ignore international law)

  (August 28, 2016)

Image result for Duterte, Philippines, photos

.
.

.

Family of Kian Loyd Delos Santos seek peace after the wrongful death of their loved one. Philippine Star photo
.

 (Contains links to previous articles)

.
Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokesman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.

Rohingya Muslims ‘maimed by landmines’

September 12, 2017

BBC News

Roshida Haque

Roshida Haque says her 15-year-old son is unlikely to survive

The BBC has spoken to Rohingya Muslims maimed after apparently stepping on landmines as they fled Myanmar (Burma).

A boy of 15 being treated in Bangladesh lost both legs while a woman at the same hospital said she had trodden on a landmine after being fired on.

The area was mined in the 1990s but Bangladeshi sources say Myanmar’s army recently planted new mines – an allegation denied by Myanmar officials.

More than 300,000 Rohingya have fled a brutal security crackdown in Myanmar.

On Monday UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein said that a “cruel military operation” was taking place, calling it “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

What sparked latest violence in Rakhine?

The Rohingya, a stateless mostly Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Rakhine, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which says they are illegal immigrants.

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, is due to visit one of her country’s main refugee camps for Rohingya. She said earlier that Myanmar had to solve a problem of its own making.

The White House has called on Myanmar to respect the rule of law and end the displacement of civilians.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, is facing mounting criticism for failing to protect the Rohingya.

‘Suffering so much’

On Sunday the human rights group Amnesty International accused the authorities of laying landmines at border crossings used by fleeing Rohingya.

Bangladeshi government sources made the same allegation speaking to Reuters news agency last week.

Azizu Haque lost his legs in a blast, as Reeta Chakrabarti reports

The hospital visited by the BBC has seen an influx of people with landmine injuries, doctors say.

The 15-year-old boy, Azizu Haque, arrived with his legs destroyed. His brother, in another hospital, suffered the same fate, his mother says.

“Their injuries are so bad it’s as if they are dead,” she told the BBC. “It’s better that Allah [God] takes them, they are suffering so much.”

Who is burning down Rohingya villages?

The injured woman, Sabequr Nahar, says she fled Myanmar because the military had been targeting her community, and she was crossing the border with her three sons when she stepped on a landmine.

“We’d been fired on, shot at, and they planted mines,” the 50-year-old said.


Horrific injuries – by Reeta Chakrabarti, BBC News, Bangladesh

Azizu Haque’s body has been devastated by a blast, his legs gone, and parts of his torso also injured. His doctor is visibly emotional when he talks of trying to save him – he doesn’t expect to be successful. Azizu has a rare blood type, and the hospital has no blood bank, and has run out of donors.

Next door in the women’s ward, Sabequr Nahar is a tiny, exhausted figure. She says she crossed the Myanmar border behind her three sons – they got through unscathed.

It is unclear who laid the traps that caused these injuries – and when – but the condition of these people nevertheless raises questions about the Myanmar government’s version of events.


How the did the violence start?

The violence began on 25 August when Rohingya militants attacked police posts in the northern state of Rakhine, killing 12 security personnel.

The attacks triggered a vast security operation that has drawn international criticism.

Rohingya who have fled Myanmar say villages have been burned and civilians attacked in a brutal campaign to drive them out.

The UN Security Council said it was looking to meet on Wednesday to discuss the violence after Sweden and the UK requested a closed-door meeting on the “deteriorating situation” in Rakhine state.

Aid agencies say Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are in desperate need of aid

Bangladesh is already host to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have fled previous outbreaks of violence in Rakhine.

Existing refugee camps are full and the new arrivals are sleeping rough in whatever space they can find, reports say.

The Rohingya are extremely unpopular inside Myanmar. On Sunday, police fired rubber bullets to break up a mob attacking the home of a Muslim butcher in Magway region in central Myanmar. One protester was quoted by AFP news agency saying it was a response to events in Rakhine.

Myanmar: Who are the Rohingya?

How much pressure is there on Suu Kyi to speak out?

Five Nobel peace Laureates have accused her of showing “indifference” to the Rohingya’s plight.

In an open letter issued by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, they say Ms Suu Kyi has a “personal and moral responsibility to uphold and defend the rights” of Myanmar’s citizens.

The letter is signed by Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, who were awarded the Nobel peace prize between 1976 and 2011.

“How many Rohingya have to die; how many Rohingya women will be raped; how many communities will be razed before you raise your voice in defense of those who have no voice?,” they ask in the letter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41234315

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing

Before the killing started: Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar’s commander-in-chief, shakes hands with National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi in December 2015. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Philippines President Duterte on War on Drugs, Killings of Teenagers: ‘We are being sabotaged’

September 8, 2017

By  – Correspondent / @inqmindanao

 / 06:58 PM September 08, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person

President Rodrigo Duterte blames supposed saboteurs for the deaths of teenager Carl Arnaiz – whom he described as a relative – and other innocent victims. VIDEO GRAB/RTVM

DIGOS CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday blamed supposed saboteurs for the deaths of teenager Carl Arnaiz – whom he described as a relative – and other innocent victims.

Speaking during the 17th anniversary of the city, Duterte said the efforts were aimed at bringing down his administration.

He said he had directed Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa to look into the matter.

“That’s why I have said to, the PNP Chief is here, to closely look into this because we are being sabotaged,” he said.

Duterte said the killings “were intentional” and were definitely aimed against his government.

He then said that if ever it was true that policemen would shoot at suspects, they would not bother to wrap the victims in plastic anymore.

“The police would not wrap (victims). That is not the job of the police to…you wrap, that’s foolishness. So there are saboteurs,” he said.

Duterte said he could not also possibly order the police to just kill anybody, including Arnaiz.

“I am telling you, one of those killed was my relative. Carl Arnaiz. He was my relative I you want you to know that. Would I allow the police to kill my relative?” he asked.

Duterte did not say how he was related to Arnaiz, who was killed after allegedly shooting it out with Caloocan policemen who were responding to a report of a taxi robbery. His companion, 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman was later found dead with his head wrapped in plastic.

Duterte said what was certain was that “somebody was cooking somewhere to discredit us.”

‘Let them shout all day’

He then pointed out that a massive rally was being planned against the killings.

Addressing dela Rosa and the military, Duterte said the protesters should be given their day.

“During the massive rally, I want the military confined in the barracks. Policemen should only be for traffic duties. Give them the space and they can shout all day,” he said.

Duterte said the police should not engage the protesters, whom he said, were out to make trouble.

“Just leave somebody to manage the traffic, period. So that there will be no trouble because they will find a reason to create one. They would want that they will get physically assaulted so they would have more reason to…let them,” he added.

Duterte then reminded policemen that their duty required them to make arrest when ordered to do so.

He said arrests can also be made without any warrant if a suspect was “committing a crime in your presence, or have committed a crime and is running away or about to shoot somebody.”

“That is the time you can arrest a person without a warrant,” he said, as he blasted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for reportedly saying that suspects should not submit to an arrest without a warrant.

“I told her, Madam Chief Justice, don’t teach the people a wrong thing. You have forgotten that there are arrests that can be made without a warrant. The war in Marawi, if somebody shoots at me, should I still run to the court first to secure a warrant? If an NPA rebel was being pursued, should I go to the municipal judge first?” the President said.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/929004/philippine-news-updates-president-duterte-teen-killings-war-on-drugs#ixzz4s5dOHDuf
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Related:

Image result for dela rosa crying, Philippines, September 2017, photos

Director General Ronald dela Rosa (center), chief of the Philippine National Police, cries (as he often does) before the start of a Senate investigation on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, on the death of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was killed in an alleged drug crackdown, last Aug. 16. The killing has sparked public outrage over President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs. (Photo by AARON FAVILA / AP)

Related:

Ronald Dela Rosa

Philippines police chief cries during Senate inquiry into corruption within the force — December 2016

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/philippines-police-chief-breaks-down-during-senate-inquiry-pledges-loyalty-duterte-1593134

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

PNP Chief Bato showed his soft side in July 2016 — Good actor. Could be a bad cop. Rule of law disregarded more often than not….

 (Philippines has chosen to ignore international law)

  (August 28, 2016)

Image result for Duterte, Philippines, photos

.
.

.

Family of Kian Loyd Delos Santos seek peace after the wrongful death of their loved one. Philippine Star photo
.

 (Contains links to previous articles)

.
Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokesman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.

Philippines: More Calls To Investigate Shooting Deaths of Teens

September 7, 2017
Sen. Grace Poe on Thursday filed a resolution asking the Senate to investigate into the spate of killings of teenagers in connection to the government’s drug war. Grace Poe/Released, File

MANILA, Philippines — A day after the body of a 14-year-old boy who had been missing for days was found in a creek in Nueva Ecija, Sen. Grace Poe on Thursday asked the Senate to investigate into the series of “gruesome” deaths of teenagers allegedly linked to the government’s brutal campaign to eradicate illegal drugs.

Poe said that the Senate should probe into the deaths of minors resulting from the government’s drug war to establish and reevaluate police procedure and guidelines on arresting minors suspected of illegal activities.

She added that charges should be filed against officers found to have violated the law.

“The plea for justice of the victims’ relatives should not fall on deaf ears; the senseless killing of innocent Filipinos, especially minors, under the cloak of addressing the country’s drug problem should be addressed by relevant legislation, policy recommendations, and impartial investigation,” Poe said in filing Senate Resolution 498.

In a span of weeks, three teenagers were found dead in Metro Manila and Nueva Ecija. Two of the teens, 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, were killed by cops allegedly after violently resisting arrest. The third one, 14-year-old Reynaldo De Guzman, was found lifeless in a Nueva Ecija creek with 30 stab wounds in his body.

READ: What we know so far: Killing of Reynaldo de Guzman, 14

Autopsy conducted on the bodies of Delos Santos and Arnaiz however contradict police claims and indicate that they were mercilessly killed.

The killings have sparked widespread condemnation of the government’s war on drugs which has claimed the lives of thousands since its inception in July last year.

RELATED: What we know so far: Killing of Carl Arnaiz, 19

Another boy, 17-year-old Vaughn Carl Dicang, was found dead in Baguio City on Thursday, six days after he went missing. Dicang’s family believes the death was a robbery and not related to the drug war.

According to Poe, the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center has already recorded the killing of 54 individuals aged 18 years old or below. She said that they were killed either in police operations or in vigilante-style executions.

“The following were reportedly killed in anti-drug police operations: (a) ALTHEA BARBON, a four-year old who died last 1 September 2016 from gunshot wounds during an alleged buy-bust operation against her father in Guhuilngan, Negros Oriental; (b) HIDEYOSHI KAWATA, a seventeen-year old killed during a buy-bust operation in Caloocan City last January 2017,” Poe said.

“JOSHUA CUMILANG, an eighteen-year old who was allegedly dragged down by armed men to an alley near their home before being killed by a police officer, and (d) JEFFERSON BUNUAN, a 20-year old criminology student and a beneficiary of Kaibigan Foundation was killed during a police operation in Sta. Ana, Manila last 18 July 2016, among others,” she added.

She also cited the cases of Danica May Garcia, 5, of Dagupan City, Francis Manosca, 5, of Pasay City and Rowena Samson, 22, of Manoag as victims of vigilante-style executions.

“[Samson] was on her way to enroll for her last semester in college in Manaoag, Pangasinan when she was found dead with the placard ‘huwag tularan, pusher,'” Poe said.

According to Poe, these deaths should serve as a reminder that the Philippines is a country of laws and morals.

She also called on policy makers to condemn the disregard for human life of some police officers who swore to protect and serve the people.

“It is imperative to determine whether these killings were arbitrary executions caused by excessive, disproportionate and illegitimate use of force of law by law enforcement officers,” she said.

The Senate should ensure that the operational protocols of law-enforcement agencies are observed, according to Poe.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/09/08/1736807/poe-wants-senate-probe-teens-gruesome-deaths

Image result for dela rosa crying, Philippines, September 2017, photos

Director General Ronald dela Rosa (center), chief of the Philippine National Police, cries (as he often does) before the start of a Senate investigation on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, on the death of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was killed in an alleged drug crackdown, last Aug. 16. The killing has sparked public outrage over President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs. (Photo by AARON FAVILA / AP)

Related:

Ronald Dela Rosa

Philippines police chief cries during Senate inquiry into corruption within the force — December 2016

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/philippines-police-chief-breaks-down-during-senate-inquiry-pledges-loyalty-duterte-1593134

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

PNP Chief Bato showed his soft side in July 2016 — Good actor. Could be a bad cop. Rule of law disregarded more often than not….

 (Philippines has chosen to ignore international law)

  (August 28, 2016)

Image result for Duterte, Philippines, photos

.
.

.

Family of Kian Loyd Delos Santos seek peace after the wrongful death of their loved one. Philippine Star photo
.

 (Contains links to previous articles)

.
Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokesman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.