• Group prods UN to condemn drug killings

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    THE New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday called on the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to condemn the surge in killings of suspected drug users and pushers in the Philippines.

    A letter drafted by the International Drug Control Consortium (IDCC), a network of nongovernmental organizations that focuses on issues related to drug production, trafficking, and use, urged international drug control agencies to state unequivocally that such killings “do not constitute acceptable drug control measures.”

    The letter was signed by Human Rights Watch and more than 200 other organizations.

    “International drug control agencies need to make clear to President Rodrigo Duterte that the surge in killings of suspected drug dealers and users is not acceptable ‘crime control,’ but instead a government failure to protect people’s most fundamental human rights,” Phelim Kine, HRW-deputy Asia director, said. “President Duterte should understand that passive or active government complicity with those killings would contradict his pledge to respect human rights and uphold the rule of law.”

    On Monday, the Philippine National Police said 395 drug suspects have been killed in intensified police operations nationwide since July 1.

    In the letter, the consortium wants the UNODC and INCB to assert that Duterte’s actions to incite extrajudicial killings cannot be justified and ask the President to end incitements to kill people suspected of committing drug-related offenses.

    “International drug control agencies can play an invaluable role in halting the rising body count of suspected drug dealers and users killed by both police and unidentified vigilantes,” Kine said.

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