HRW urges Duterte: Retract threat vs rights defenders
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to retract his threat against human rights defenders.
In a statement, the New York-based HRW said Duterte should immediately withdraw his latest “reprehensible” threat “before there is more blood on his hands.”
“President Duterte’s threats against human rights activists is like painting a target on the backs of courageous people working to protect the rights and upholding the dignity of all Filipinos,” HRW deputy Asia director Phelim Kine said in a statement.
In a speech in Malacañang on Wednesday, Duterte warned that he would order the police to shoot human rights defenders who criticize his bloody war on drugs.
“Sabihin mo pulis, barilin mo na ‘yang kasali diyan. If they are obstructing justice, you shoot them,” the President said. “Para makita talaga kung anong klaseng human right.”
He also said that he would investigate on human rights defenders for “conspiracy.”
HRW said that President Duterte’s instigation of unlawful police violence “may amount to crimes against humanity, in violation of international law.”
“Duterte is on notice that his death threats against human rights advocates could pave the way for prosecution for crimes against humanity,” Kine said.
“Duterte’s assault on accountability highlights the urgent need for a UN-led international investigation into his drug-war slaughter.” IDL
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