Monday, 3 October 2016

Phillipines: Stop Encouraging Murder

When comparing yourself to world leaders or historical figures, there are perhaps less controversial choices than Adolf Hitler. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday likened himself to the Nazi leader, saying he wants to kill millions of drug addicts, just as Hitler killed Jews during the Holocaust.
"Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there is 3 million, what is it, 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines), there are," he said in a speech in his hometown of Davao City.
"I'd be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me). You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition."
History counts the cost of Hitler's purges against "undesirables" at 11 million, 6 million of whom were Jews.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, in Israel to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Simone Peres, condemned the remarks.
"These statements are revolting, and President Duterte must retract them and apologize," Lauder said. "We just marked the 75th anniversary of Babi Yar, the massacre of more than 33,000 Jews in Ukraine by Nazi Germany. ... Now, the elected leader of the Philippines openly calls for the mass murder of people who are addicted to drugs.
"Drug abuse is a serious issue. But what President Duterte said is not only profoundly inhumane, but it demonstrates an appalling disrespect for human life."
 Amnesty International said that Duterte "has sunk to new depths" and urged governments around the world to condemn his "extremely dangerous outburst."
On Sunday  Duterte issued an  his apology saying  it was intended only for the Jewish community. He lashed out again at Western critics and human rights advocates who have raised concerns over his brutal crackdown, which is estimated to have left more than 3,000 suspected drug dealers and users dead in just three months. Duterte said in a speech in the central city of Bacolod that he never had any intention "to derogate the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Germans." "I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish community," Duterte said.
A little to late methinks.The controversial leader campaigned on a hard line against crime, particularly drug offenses, and has in the past uttered statements which have caused many in the international community to recoil.Since winning the presidential election, President Duterte triggered widespread alarm by calling for the restoration of the death penalty, vowing to preside over a wave of extrajudicial executions, threatening journalists, and intimidating human rights defenders.
This is in a context where a climate of impunity for human rights violations prevails in the Philippines, including for torture and other ill-treatment by the police. Only one police officer has ever been brought to justice under laws criminalising torture, and few have been held accountable for killings of journalists.  A growing number of critics, including U.N. officials, the European Union and the United States, have voiced concerns over the widespread killings and human rights violations.
The country’s new president is running a ‘war on drugs’ that involves a deadly crackdown on anyone believed to be connected to the drugs trade. He has suggested there might be monetary rewards for those who murder people and is seemingly encouraging the police to kill.
Call on authorities in the Philippines to stop sanctioning murder and to protect the right to life for all citizens. Tell this man he has to stop:

You can take action via Amnesty International  here:-

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