United Nations rapporteur rebukes Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs

UN rapporteur rebukes Duterte's war on drugs

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UN rapporteur rebukes Duterte's war on drugs

Friday, May 05, 2017

MANILA. Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, talks to the media after her speech at a drug policy forum at University of the Philippines, Friday, May 5, 2017. (AP)

MANILA -- A United Nations (UN) special rapporteur has rebuked President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly campaign against illegal drugs, saying world leaders have recognized it does not work.

UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard told a forum in Manila on Friday that badly thought out policies not only fail to address drug abuse and trafficking but compound them and foster a regime of impunity infecting the whole society.

Callamard, also director of the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University in the United States, is in the country at the invitation of the University of the Philippines (UP).

In an ambush interview, Callamard declined to comment on the drug situation in the country, stressing that she is in the Philippines only for academic purposes.

"I am not here on an official visit. I am here solely for the purpose of the conference. I am here in response to the invitation of the university (UP) to participate in the two-day conference and the policy forum. I invite all parties to fully participate in the conference, especially the government, for the two-day policy conference," she said.

She likewise urged government agencies to actively participate in the policy forum.

Callamard said she does not worry about her security since she believes that members of the media and the Filipino public would protect her from any harm.

Callamard is an early critic of the President and has been challenged by Duterte to debate his war on drugs that has left thousands of suspected drug dealers and users dead.

In her speech, Callamard said UN member countries in a joint commitment issued last year have called for a multi-faceted and scientific approach that promotes the dignity and human rights of individuals and communities. (AP/PNA)


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