Posts Tagged ‘Amnesty International’

After Philippine Police Kill 32 Drug Suspects in One Day; President Duterte Urges Them To Kill 32 More The Next Day

August 16, 2017
Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country. PPD/File

MANILA, Philippines –  President Duterte welcomed the killing of 32 drug suspects in simultaneous raids in Bulacan last Tuesday and defended policemen from critics who questioned the way the operations were conducted.

Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country.

“Yung namatay daw sa Bulacan, 32 (Thirty-two people reportedly died in Bulacan) in a massive raid. Maganda yun (That’s good),” the President said at the 19th anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption at Malacañang.

“Pumatay tayo (Let’s kill) another 32 everyday, maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” he added.

Thirty-two suspected drug offenders died and 107 others were nabbed during simultaneous law enforcement operations, which began last Monday in the province. Police recovered illegal drugs, grenades and firearms during the raids.

The President said he is expecting human rights advocates to criticize the law enforcement operations.

“There will be outcry again over the 32 who were killed. They would grieve again for justice,” he said.

“Many are being killed because policemen are working. They are protected under my watch.”

Duterte said he has ordered security forces to destroy the apparatus of the drug trade, which he said is “taking a toll on the lives of the people.”

“My order is to destroy the apparatus. Kung napatay ka, pasensya ka (If you get killed, sorry). We will finish this for the next generation,” he said.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/17/1729961/rody-bulacan-drug-deaths-kill-32-more-daily

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Duterte says drug problem can’t be solved in just one term

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed during the campaign period that he can fix the country from illegal drugs in three to six months. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the country’s illegal drugs problem is so severe that a six-year term for a president is not enough to solve it.

“Look itong shabu, ang drugs, etc., cannot be solved by one man, for a president for one term,” Duterte said in his speech at the Philippine Development Forum: Sulong Pilipinas 2017 forum last Wednesday.

“It has bugged nations, hindi nga kaya ng Amerika, tayo pa,” he added.

READ: Duterte vows to keep drug war amid human rights concerns

 

During the campaign period, Duterte vowed to solve the problem in three to six months.

Three months after assuming presidency in July, the president asked for an extension of another six months.

READ: Rights groups want tougher stance on Duterte’s drug war from Trump

http://www.philstar.com/news-videos/2017/08/11/1727928/watch-duterte-says-drug-problem-cant-be-solved-just-one-term

Related:

Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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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 spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image result for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image result for Boy Cruz, philippine policeman, photos

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Amnesty: Indonesia waging its own ‘war on drugs’

August 16, 2017

Police killings of suspected drug dealers have spiked, with 60 recorded deaths so far this year compared to 18 in 2016. The trend has led Amnesty International to warn that the country could be emulating the Philippines.

Indonesien Beschlagnahmte Drogen nach einer Razzia (Getty Images/AFP/Ricardo)

The dramatic spike in the number of unlawful killings carried out by Indonesian police against suspected drug dealers is the latest signal that the country could be sliding into a “war on drugs” similar to that seen in the Philippines, rights group Amnesty International warned on Wednesday.

Data obtained by the group showed a more than 200-percent rise in drug-related killings carried out by Indonesian police so far this year, with the number of deaths rising up to 60 from just 18 last year.

Read more: Why Jakarta presses forward with drug executions despite global outcry

Amnesty’s director in Indonesia, Usman Hamid, said in a statement: “This shocking escalation in unlawful killings by the police sounds serious alarm bells. While Indonesian authorities have a duty to respond to increasing rates of drug use in the country, shooting people on sight is never a solution. Not only is it unlawful, it will also do nothing to address the root causes that lead to drug use in the first place.”

Most of the violence has been concentrated around the capital city of Jakarta or the well-known drug trafficking hub of Sumatra.

Indonesia officials back tough stance

Indonesian police forces have justified the increase in killings, saying victims were shot for resisting arrest. However, Amnesty said it found no evidence that authorities had conducted even a single independent investigation into the shootings.

That data also reflects the Indonesian government’s increasingly tough rhetoric on drug-related crime, with President “Jokowi” Widodo openly endorsing the use of unrestrained force against suspected foreign traffickers, especially those resisting arrest. “Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest,” he said at a speech in Jakarta in late July. “Enough, just shoot them. Be merciless.”

Indonesia Joko Widodo (Reuters/Beawiharta)Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has endorsed the use of force in policing drug-related crimes

Police chief hails Duterte’s “war on drugs”

The president’s remarks came after the country’s national police chief, General Tito Karnavian, ordered officers “not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest” and praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal “war on drugs” as an effective means of making drug dealers “go away.”

Since coming to power in May last year, Duterte has waged a brutal war on drugs in a bid to wipe out the use of narcotics in the Philippines. According to police data, some 3,500 so-called “drug personalities” have been killed by Duterte’s anti-drug squadsover the past year, as well as a further 2,000 people linked to drug-related crimes.

Read more: Alleged hitman links Duterte to ‘death squad’ killings

Earlier this year, Amnesty documented that anti-drug forces had grown to resemble a criminal enterprise more than a police force.

“President Duterte should not under any circumstances be considered a role model for Indonesia,” said Amnesty’s Hamid. “Far from making the Philippines safer, his bloody ‘war on drugs’ has led to the deaths of thousands without any form of accountability.”

http://www.dw.com/en/amnesty-indonesia-waging-its-own-war-on-drugs/a-40110231

dm/kms (AFP, Amnesty)

Related:

Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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.
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 spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image may contain: 2 people

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Indonesia maintains merciless stance on drug dealers

August 16, 2017
  • Haeril HalimThe Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, August 16, 2017 | 04:00 pm

Jokowi maintains merciless stance on drug dealers

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo delivers his state of the nation address before members of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Aug. 16. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The war on drugs was one of the focal points of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s state of the nation address on Wednesday.

Jokowi reiterated his commitment despite the recent criticism he has received after it was revealed that law enforcement officers had shot dead a total of 60 alleged drug dealers they argued had been resisting arrest.

“We stand firm in our war against drug dealers. Narcotics are destroying our youth. Jokowi said.

Read also: Sending drug dealers to God is my business: Jakarta Police chiefAccording to data from Amnesty International, at least 60 suspected drug dealers were killed by the police and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) between January and August, a sharp increase from 18, last year.

In July, Jokowi ordered law enforcers “to be firm and merciless, especially with foreign drug dealers who enter the country” and to shoot them if they resisted arrest. Around 10 drug dealers have been shot dead onsite after Jokowi made the order.

Last year, the international community also lambasted Jokowi after Indonesia executed four drug dealers, most of them foreigners. Authorities have sent 18 drug dealers before firing squad since 2015.

Jokowi said he would also remain firm in his decisions to protect the country’s sovereignty. “We also have to be brave to fight against illegal fishing to protect our natural resources and fishermen. We have shown we are brave by dissolving Petral,” Jokowi said referring to the now-defunct oil and gas trading company Pertamina Energy Trading. (bbn)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/08/16/jokowi-maintains-merciless-stance-on-drug-dealers.html

Kenyan police raid offices of pro-democracy organisation

August 16, 2017

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan police and tax authorities on Wednesday raided the office of a pro-democracy organisation that has raised questions over preparations for last week’s disputed elections.

“They are outside the gates right now,” Gladwell Otieno, the executive director of Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG), told Reuters by phone.

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Gladwell Otieno, the executive director of Africa Centre for Open Governance

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won the Aug. 8 election by a margin of 1.4 million votes. International and domestic observers say the election process was largely free and fair but opposition leader Raila Odinga has disputed the results.

Kenyan television showed pictures of the raid during which civil society leaders challenged the search warrant. Human rights lawyer Maina Kiai asked why tax authorities had to bring three vanloads of police.

“They say they have got a search warrant … (but) the search warrant does not name AfriCOG. The order does not specify what they are coming to do,” he said on television.

The raid follows letters from the government on Tuesday accusing AfriCOG and another civil society organisation, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), of administrative and tax violations.

The threats to shut the organisations, which played a leading role in organising civil society to question and monitor the elections, provoked condemnation from the United Nations and international rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

Israel’s Al-Jazeera move sends ‘chilling message’: Amnesty

August 7, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Al-Jazeera’s Jerusalem office
LONDON (AFP) – Israel’s decision to close the offices of broadcaster Al-Jazeera in the Jewish state is “a brazen attack on media freedom”, Amnesty International said Monday.”The move sends a chilling message that the Israeli authorities will not tolerate critical coverage,” Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at the London-based group, said in a statement.

“This is a brazen attack on media freedom in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” she added.

She urged Israel to “halt any attempt to silence critical media”, saying that “all journalists should be free to carry out their work without facing harassment or intimidation”.

Israel said Sunday it would demand the revocation of the credentials of journalists working for the channel and also cut its cable and satellite connections.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said on July 27 that he wanted Al-Jazeera expelled amid tensions over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site.

Israel has regularly accused the Doha-based broadcaster of bias in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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From Newsweek

Qatar’s flagship Al Jazeera news channel has hit back at Israel over its decision to close the TV station’s Jerusalem bureau and revoke the accreditation of its journalists saying the move undermines the nation’s claim to be a democracy.

Al Jazeera has found itself at the centre of one of the most inflammatory diplomatic crises to grip the gulf states in decades. Saudi Arabia and its allies—accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and backing regional rival Iran—have cut all ties with their tiny gas producing neighbor. The closure of Doha-based Al Jazeera is one of 13 demands issued by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain before normal relations can resume.

Israel gave its most explicit backing of the Saudi boycott  to date on Sunday when Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said Israel would shut down the network’s cable and satellite transmissions in the country as well as the other measures against its journalists.

“We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work,” Kara said. His comments followed statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  criticising the channel’s coverage of recent Arab boycotts over Israeli security measures at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque. Al Jazeera was denied access to the press conference about its own future.

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An employee walks inside an office of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network in Jerusalem June 13, 2017. REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN/

Fewer than 24 hours later the news channel offered its response. In a statement on the planned closure and other measures Al Jazeera said it “ denounces this decision made by a state that claims to be ‘the only democratic state in the Middle East.’”

Al Jazeera said that it would “watch closely the developments that may result from the Israeli decision, and will take the necessary legal measures towards it.”

The news channel challenged Kara, saying the Israeli minister had failed to substantiate his claims over Al Jazeera’s coverage, saying the network would “continue covering news and events in the occupied Palestinian territories in a professional and objective manner in accordance with the common journalistic standards set by the relevant international organizations, such as the British Broadcasting Code of Ofcom.”

The move by Israel follows the closure of Al Jazeera bureaus in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The UAE has also blocked Al Jazeera’s signal, while Egypt banned Al Jazeera following the ouster of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi. Al Jazeera and its Arabic language channel in particular have been accused of support for the Islamist movement.

http://www.newsweek.com/everyone-seems-hate-al-jazeera-and-qatari-tv-channel-fighting-back-647192

Philippines blames media for US human rights concerns

August 4, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Duterte has boasted repeatedly that US President Donald Trump praised the drug war, although he still frequently rails against the US State Department and American politicians who criticise the killings

MANILA (AFP) – The Philippines said Friday it would tell visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson his concerns over its drug war that has claimed thousands of lives were due to “exaggerated media reports”.Tillerson is due to meet President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of a regional security forum that begins on the weekend, and both sides have flagged that the human rights debate over the drug war would be on the agenda.

“We welcome the opportunity to address their concerns and correct the perceptions they may have gleaned from exaggerated media reports,” a Philippine foreign department statement said on Friday.

The statement was released after acting US assistant secretary of state Susan Thornton said in Washington that Tillerson would discuss human rights issues in Manila.

Duterte easily won presidential elections last year after promising an unprecented war on drugs in which tens of thousands of people would be killed.

Since he took office in the middle of last year, police have confirmed killing more than 3,400 people in anti-drug operations.

More than 2,000 other people have been killed in drug-related crimes and thousands more murdered in unexplained circumstances, according to police data.

Rights groups say many of those victims have been killed by vigilante death squads linked to the government.

Rights groups have said that Duterte, who has said he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts, may be overseeing a crime against humanity.

Former US president Barack Obama was among the many international critics of the drug war.

Duterte, who frequently uses coarse language against his critics, responded by branding Obama a “son of a whore” last year.

Duterte also used the criticism as justification for loosening the Philippines’ decades-long alliance with the United States in favour of warmer ties with China.

Duterte has boasted repeatedly that US President Donald Trump praised the drug war, although he still frequently rails against the US State Department and American politicians who criticise the killings.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday confirmed Duterte and Tillerson would hold talks in Manila, and that the meeting would be a step towards improving bilateral relations.

“I expect the call to be frank, honest but to discuss also the way forward in our relationship and also to repair some twists and turns or some valleys in our relationship,” Cayetano said.

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Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Related:
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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.
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 spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image may contain: 2 people

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
.

Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
.
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous anti-drug campaign featured in Video — “One of the world’s most brazen human rights catastrophes.”

July 29, 2017

By 
The Intercept

President Donald attracted bipartisan criticism in April for enthusiastically endorsing one of the world’s most brazen human rights catastrophes: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous anti-drug campaign. Since Duterte took office last June, police and vigilante death squads have killed more than 7,000 people, and devastated poor in communities in cities across the country.

Now, a new film shows the human toll of Duterte’s campaign. “Duterte’s Hell,” by Aaron Goodman and Luis Liwanag and produced with the documentary unit Field of Vision, shows graphic images of Philippine police examining and carting off dead bodies, and grieving communities struggling to cope with the government-sanctioned murders.

The president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has also likened himself to Hitler

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

In 2016, Duterte campaigned on a policy of mass extermination for anyone involved in the drug trade — not only drug traffickers, but addicts as well. “Hitler massacred three million Jews,” Duterte said in September. “Now there is three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

In April, Trump stunned observers of the crisis by placing what his aides described as a “very friendly” call to Duterte, inviting the Philippine president to the White House. Weeks later, The Intercept, in partnership with the Philippine news site Rappler, obtained and published a transcript of that call, showing that Trump heaping praise on the drug campaign. “I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” he told Duterte.

Human rights groups have documented how small groups of plainclothes police or vigilante assassins will gun down subjects on the street or burst into the roadside shacks in urban slums. Uniformed police frequently show up later and routinely plant drugs or guns on the corpses to justify the killings.

“I swear on my family, my son is not a pusher, my son had no gun,” one mother wails, turning to the camera. “Please! Tell [this] to the whole world. Please help me! He’s not a dog, my son. He’s not a dog or a pig to kill like them.”

Set in Manila, Field of Vision’s film demonstrates the impact the war has had on urban slums — an effect so disproportionate it lead Amnesty International to label the campaign a “murderous war on poor.” “Duterte’s Hell” intimately portrays crowds gathering around grieving mothers in the slums, watching as police load the corpses into trucks and cart them off.

Duterte has an answer for why his killing campaign has overwhelmingly focused on cities’ slums, not affluent drug users: Duterte once explained to anti-poverty groups that he can’t go after rich drug users because they fly around on private jets and he “cannot afford the fighter planes,” according to a profile in the New Yorker.

Duterte was infamous for extrajudicial killings long before he became president. As early as 1996, as mayor of Davao city, a port city on the southern island of Mindanao where he is still wildly popular, Duterte relied on several-hundred member death squad to kill criminals and suppress opposition. Multiple former members of the group have come forward and said Duterte personally ordered the assassinations, and the now-president has even bragged about killing people himself from the back of a motorcycle.

In many ways, Duterte is a product of political environment he grew up in. He is the first Philippine president from the island of Mindanao, which has a long and troubled colonial history. For hundreds of years, the Muslim community in the south of the island resisted the Spanish, who had conquered the northern part of the island and tried to spread Catholicism. After the Spanish-American war, thousands died under U.S. military rule as the result of a “pacification” campaign in Mindanao.

The legacy of that history is that Mindanao has been the home to several armed rebel and terrorist groups over the years, as well as mafia-like criminal organizations. It was Duterte’s bloody approach to fighting back against those organizations that earned him a nickname he still embraces: “the death squad mayor.”

Video at the link:

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/29/duterte-hell-philippines-drug-war-goodman-liwanag-field-of-vision/

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In this Monday, July 24, 2017, photo, young Indigenous People known as Lumads form the words “Save Lumad schools” as they join a march of thousands of protesters to coincide with the state of the nation address of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Human rights groups asked Duterte Wednesday, July 26, 2017, to retract a threat to order airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist rebels, warning such an attack would constitute a war crime. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said international humanitarian law “prohibits attacks on schools and other civilian structures unless they are being used for military purposes,” adding that deliberate attacks on civilians, including students and teachers, “is also a war crime.” AP/Bullit Marquez

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Residents and police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police anti-drug operation in Manila, Philippines Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Authorities said 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

Brazil sends troops to Rio de Janeiro to fight organized crime

July 29, 2017

Thousands of Brazilian soldiers have been deployed in Rio de Janeiro to tackle the rise in street crime. Nearly a hundred members of the security forces have been killed in Rio this year.

Brazilian police enter the Pavao Pavaozinho in Copacabana

Some 8,500 soldiers and hundreds of police and highway patrol officers have been deployed on to the streets of Brazil’s second city to fight organized crime.

The official government gazette reported that President Michel Temer had signed a decree allowing the use of armed forces in Rio. In all, 10,000 troops are to be mobilized.

While they have previously carried out patrols, controled checkpoints and recovered weapons seized during police raids, the troops are to begin participating in operations against drug traffickers, Defense Minister Raul Jungmann announced at a news conference on Thursday.

Jungmann said there could be consequences from the operation: “It must be taken into account that, given the progress and the point of Rio’s criminality, yes, we will have reactions,” he said. “It is very important that society understands that it is necessary to face them.”

Trucks carrying troops were seen crossing bridges and expressways on Friday in an operation which is to continue until the end of 2018.

A national force policeman on patrol near the Chapadao slumsA national force policeman on patrol near the Chapadao slums

Out of control

An average of three people have been killed by stray bullets every day in the first six months of the year. Those deaths, plus criminal assaults and shootouts between drug traffickers and police have led to admissions from authorities that much of the city is out of their control.

Adding to the challenge of controlling widespread organized crime, the Brazilian police itself does not have the best reputation for probity.

In a statement on its website, human rights group Amnesty International (AI) said police have continued to use “unnecessary and excessive force, particularly in the context of protests.” Amnesty said “Young people and black men, mainly those living in favelas and other marginalized communities, were disproportionately targeted with violence by law enforcement officials.”

Spike in police killings

In a report to the United Nations, which periodically monitors violence in conflict zones and other troubled areas worldwide, Amnesty highlighted the recent spike in killings by Rio police – 182 in the first two months of the year, or 78 percent more than a year earlier.

Jurema Werneck, AI’s director in Brazil, said in May, “Brazil has not taken enough steps to tackle the shocking levels of human rights violations across the country, including soaring police homicide rates.”

Reporting to the United Nations in May, AI highlighted the recent spike in killings by Rio police: a 78 percent rise to 182 in the first two months of the year.

Some commentators say that placing more troops on the streets of the city may act as an incentive for criminals to try to co-opt or corrupt even more officers.

 https://johnib.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

jm/bk (AFP, Reuters)

Turkey drops terror link charge against German firms

July 24, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Relations between Berlin and Ankara have plumbed new lows

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany said the Turkey had informed it on Monday that it had dropped accusations of “terrorism” funding against major German companies amid a raging dispute between the NATO partners.

As relations between Berlin and Ankara plumbed new depths, a spokesman for the German interior ministry said his Turkish counterpart had contacted him about the allegations levelled against nearly 700 German firms including giants Daimler and BASF.

The spokesman, Tobias Plate, said Berlin had been told that the list of companies with Turkish operations being investigated for “financing of terrorism” lodged with Interpol in May had been withdrawn, saying the suspicion had been based on a “communication problem”.

The Turkish interior minister “assured us that the Turkish authorities were not investigating companies on the list in Turkey or in Germany,” he said.

German newspaper Die Zeit reported last week that Turkey had handed Germany a list of 68 companies and individuals suspected of links to terror due to alleged contacts with the group of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for Turkey’s failed coup last year. Gulen denies the charge.

Die Zeit said the companies probed ranged from industrial behemoths to a stall selling doner kebab in the west of Germany.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday denied the claims, saying the reports were “black propaganda” aimed at pressurising German companies not to invest in Turkey.

“You have no power to darken Turkey,” Erdogan said.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had also dismissed the report as “entirely a lie” and urged Berlin to solve an escalating crisis through dialogue.

A spokeswoman for the German economy ministry, Tanja Alemany, said Monday that despite the “clarification” of the issue, it would “take a while before German companies can win back confidence” in Turkey as a place to do business.

Ankara’s overture to Berlin came amid severe tensions between the NATO allies over arrests of German citizens.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had said on Thursday that Berlin would review state guarantees for foreign investment in Turkey and urge businesses against putting their money in the country.

The German foreign ministry also warned it could no longer guarantee its citizens’ safety in Turkey, in a move sure to impact Turkey’s crucial tourism industry.

The latest crisis was precipitated by the order of a Turkish court to remand in custody six human rights activists detained on an island off Istanbul including Amnesty International’s Turkey director Idil Eser and Berlin-based activist Peter Steudtner.

But Berlin was already furious over the jailing in February of Deniz Yucel, Turkey correspondent for Die Welt newspaper, who Erdogan has personally denounced as a “terror agent”.

Turkey to re-arrest four activists in Amnesty case — Charges of aiding a “terror” group.

July 21, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Amnesty International activists hold placards as they protest against the arrest of rights activists in Turkey, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director, on July 20, 2017, near the Coliseum in Rome

ISTANBUL (AFP) – A Turkish court on Friday issued new arrest warrants for four activists previously detained but then released in a controversial case that has raised tensions with the West.

The four were among 10 people detained earlier this month in a raid by police on a workshop session of human rights activists held on an island off Istanbul.

A Turkish court on Tuesday ordered six of the human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director Idil Eser, be remanded in custody on charges of aiding a “terror” group.

The four others were then released on judicial supervision.

But the state-run Anadolu news agency said an Istanbul court has issued new arrest warrants for the four — Nalan Erkem, Seyhmus Ozbekli, Nejat Tastan and Ilknur Ustun — after granting an appeal from prosecutors against their release.

It was not immediately clear if they had yet been re-arrested.

The decision to remand the six in custody earlier this week sparked international alarm and amplified fears of declining freedom of expression under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Eight of the 10 initially detained are Turkish rights activists. But the other two are German Peter Steudtner and Swede Ali Gharavi, who were leading the digital information workshop.

This has stoked tensions in particular with Berlin, which is now looking at an overhaul of its relations with Ankara.

Amnesty describes Gharavi as an IT strategy consultant and Steudtner as a “non-violence and well-being trainer”.

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