UN rep to probe Philip­pine killings

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A UNITED Na­tions rights rap­por­teur said she in­tended to visit the Philip­pines to in­ves­ti­gate Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s deadly war on crime, but was seek­ing se­cu­rity guar­an­tees for peo­ple she planned to speak with.

Mr Duterte last week said he would al­low UN and EU ex­perts to look into the thou­sands of killings since he took of­fice on June 30. How­ever, he also chal­lenged them to face him in pub­lic de­bates.

While the gov­ern­ment has yet to is­sue an in­vi­ta­tion, the UN rap­por­teur on ex­tra­ju­di­cial, sum­mary or ar­bi­trary ex­e­cu­tions, Agnes Cal­la­mard, said she would so­licit one.

“I wel­come the re­ports re­cently [con­veyed] through the me­dia that the pres­i­dent and gov­ern­ment of the Philip­pines will in­vite a UN mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the al­leged ex­tra­ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tions,” Ms Cal­la­mard said.

Ms Cal­la­mard said she would in­sist on a range of mea­sures to en­sure that those who spoke with her did not face ret­ri­bu­tion.

“The date and scope of the factfind­ing mis­sion will be dis­cussed and ne­go­ti­ated with the gov­ern­ment, along with essen­tial guar­an­tees,” she said.

Those would in­clude “my free­dom of move­ment and free­dom of in­quiry, and the as­sur­ance that those who co­op­er­ate with me will not be the ob­ject of re­tal­i­a­tion, such as in­tim­i­da­tion, threats, ha­rass­ment or pun­ish­ment,” she said.

More than 3300 peo­ple have been killed since Mr Duterte won the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in May, po­lice fig­ures show.

The United Na­tions, the Euro­pean Union, the US and in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights groups have all con­demned the killings, much to Mr Duterte’s dis­dain.

Photo: AFP

Po­lice of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gate the killing of an al­leged drug pusher in this photo taken in Manila on Septem­ber 22. A United Na­tions rights rap­por­teur in­tends to visit the Philip­pines to in­ves­ti­gate Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s deadly war on crime, but is seek­ing se­cu­rity guar­an­tees for peo­ple she plans to speak with.

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