Amnesty International calls for a clear end to the “war on drugs”

A few days after the US State Department published its report, Amnesty International presented its annual report “The State of the World’s Human Rights” on April 23, 2024. The report underlined that drug-related killings or extrajudicial killings in the context of the so-called “war on drugs,” especially by the police and other security forces, continue to be a “serious problem.”

Since Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took office in mid-2022, the Dahas Project of the University of the Philippines documented over 600 drug-related killings by May 2024. During the report presentation, Amnesty International appealed to the Marcos Jr. government to adopt a “clear and unequivocal policy” to put an end to the “war on drugs.”

Butch Olano, Director of Amnesty International Philippines, also emphasized the need for the Philippine government to cooperate with the ICC investigators. On April 15, 2024, President Marcos Jr. reiterated that the government would not extradite ex-President Duterte to the ICC and would not recognize an arrest warrant.

Amnesty International’s key demands include the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) as well as of the Anti-Terrorism Act, the adoption of a law to protect human rights defenders and the provision of adequate support for families of victims of drug-related killings.

In response to Amnesty International’s demands, the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that the government is determined to stop drug-related killings and strengthen the justice system by taking “all necessary steps” to hold those responsible for human rights violations accountable.



Photo © Raffy Lerma

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