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Duterte calls UN rights chief ’empty-headed’

/ 12:30 PM April 04, 2018
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao on February 9, 2018. Duterte on February 9, declared himself beyond the jurisdiction of an International Criminal Court probe into thousands of deaths in his "drugs war", claiming local laws do not specifically ban extrajudicial killings. / AFP PHOTO / -

President Rodrigo Duterte. (AFP FILE PHOTO)

President Rodrigo Duterte has launched a foul-mouthed attack on the United Nations (UN) human rights chief, calling him “empty-headed” in a row over international criticism of his deadly campaign against illegal drugs.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, had last month said Duterte needed “psychiatric evaluation,” and that his verbal attacks on a UN rapporteur, who condemned his anti-drug crackdown could not go unanswered.

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“Hey son of a whore, you commissioner, I need to go to a psychiatrist?” asked Duterte in a speech late Tuesday.

“The psychiatrist told me: ‘You are okay, mayor. You are just fond of cursing,'” Duterte said, referring to his former title.

The Philippine leader added he had been advised to refrain from commenting on the remarks of Zeid, a Jordanian prince, but he wanted to “seek revenge”.

“Look, you have a big head but it’s empty. There is no grey matter between your ears. It’s hollow. It’s empty. It cannot even sustain a nutrient for your hair to grow because his hair here is gone,” Duterte said as he touched his head.

Duterte, 73, has launched curse-laden tirades on world leaders, including former United States President Barack Obama and Pope Francis, as well as critics of his anti-crime crackdown.

Duterte won a presidential election in mid-2016 after promising to eradicate drugs in society within six months by killing tens of thousands of users and dealers.

Philippine police said they have killed roughly 4,100 suspects, who fought back during arrest, but rights groups alleged the actual number is three times higher and accused authorities of murder.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched a “preliminary examination” into the alleged killings in the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign.

Last month, Zeid, who has criticized alleged extrajudicial killings in the drug war, said Duterte’s remarks about a UN rapporteur seeking to investigate the matter were “absolutely disgraceful”.

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He likewise condemned Duterte’s statement ordering troops to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

In Tuesday’s speech, Duterte defended the comments along with his so-called war on drugs.

“I am rude? I am really rude. There is nothing I can do about that,” Duterte said. “I kill people? Yes, I really kill people… go ahead and do drugs there. I already told you to stop.”

Addressing human rights groups, Duterte said: “You are dreaming if you think you can jail me.”                        /kga

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TAGS: Diplomacy, Philippines, Politics, President Rodrigo Duterte, rights, United Nations
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