The crackdown is the flagship policy of the head of state against drug trafficking, but the night killings committed by the police are condemned internationally.
Amnesty International on Monday called for an independent investigation into the thousands of Filipinos killed in the name of the war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte. The NGO denounces abuses become "systematic", perpetrated in "impunity".
The repression, which is a great success with many Filipinos, is the flagship policy of the head of state, but the night killings by the Filipino police are sentenced internationally.
Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016 on the promise to eradicate drug trafficking by killing tens of thousands of suspected drug traffickers and drug addicts. He said the fish from Manila Bay would grow fat on their bodies.
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In her second report on the subject, Amnesty says that the victims are mainly poor Filipinos, many of whom appear on "drug watch lists". Their names are provided by local authorities subject to "immense pressure" from the police to deliver a steady stream of suspects.
"Worse, those on the watch lists seem to be there indefinitely, with no way of being removed, even if they have followed treatment and stopped using drugs," says the NGO.
Policy of "deliberate misinformation"
Judging that it is impossible to determine the exact number of deaths, Amnesty accuses Manila of pursuing a policy of "deliberate misinformation". According to the government, 5,300 people have been killed by the police, but human rights defenders believe that this number should be increased by four.
The London-based NGO also denounces the "systematic nature of the violations", in the words of Nicholas Bequelin, director for East Asia.
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The press is not interested in the massacre, the authorities are not investigating, nor are there adequate treatment programs for drug addicts. "This has the effect of creating a climate of total impunity in the country, in which the police and others are free to kill without any repercussions", accuses the report.
Crime scenes trafficked, stolen victims
As it did in its first report, Amnesty believes that "the crimes committed may be crimes against humanity".
The group investigated the deaths of 27 people in Bulacan, a province near Manila that has become "one of the country's bloodiest death fields". Amnesty accuses police officers of breaking down the gates before slaughtering the suspects behind them, and removing others to kill them elsewhere. The police traffic scenes of crime, invent his reports, and steal the victims, she still accuses.
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"The failure of the international community to provide a genuine response to these serious human rights violations (…) has encouraged the government to extend repression to independent media, human rights defenders and human rights defenders. political activists, "the report continues.
For its part, Manila again asked the international community to meddle in its affairs. "The attempts of foreign countries to interfere in the way this government maintains peace and order is not only an affront to its intelligence but also a violation of its sovereignty," said the spokesman for the president, Salvador Panelo.
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