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UN exec mentions PH drug war in human rights day message

/ 05:26 PM December 09, 2016
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. AFP FILE PHOTO

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. AFP FILE PHOTO

The Philippine government’s war on drugs is still top of mind in the international community as a United Nations high commissioner referred to it anew in his annual Human Rights Day message.

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in the statement, called on people to stand up for the rights of other people.

“2016 has been a disastrous year for human rights across the globe, and if the growing erosion of the carefully constructed system of human rights and rule of law continues to gather momentum, ultimately everyone will suffer,” Zeid said, before mentioning the violence caused by extremist movements and conflicts.


“Climate change darkens our horizons. Discrimination, yawning economic disparities and the ruthless desire to gain or maintain power at any cost are the principal drivers of current political and human rights crises. Humane values are under attack – and so many people feel overwhelmed, unsure what to do or where to turn,” he said.

Zeid said many leaders fail to deal with such “complex social and economic issues.”

“In the Philippines, drug users and dealers are routinely being killed in the streets, with the not-so-tacit encouragement of the authorities,” Zeid said, referring to the deaths of thousands of Filipinos allegedly linked to the drug trade.

READ: DILG: No massive human rights violations committed in drug war

He added that “other countries are bringing back the death penalty.”

Zeid recently wrote to Philippine legislators to not allow the reimposition of the death penalty, which is considered a violation of an international agreement ratified by the government.
READ: UN: PH will violate int’l pact if it restores death penalty 

“It is time to change course,” Zeid said. “At a time of enormous turmoil and rapid change, the values which uphold peace across the world are too important to be left to international institutions and governments alone. It is within the power of every woman, man and child to stand up for respect and tolerance and push back the violence and hatred which threaten our world.” IDL

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TAGS: extrajudicial killings, Human Rights, Philippines, United Nations, war on drugs, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
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