International Criminal Court pauses probe into Philippines president’s bloody war on drugs
The investigation into Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs has been temporarily suspended by the International Criminal Court. The ICC launched the probe into alleged human rights violations during the president’s campaign against illegal drugs where thousands have died since Duterte took office in June 2016. The Court has reportedly halted the investigation to review a deferral request from Manila, which has been seen as a major setback for human rights activists to press the Court to continue its probe.
The ICC investigation into the accusations on the president by families of the victims and human rights organisations was approved after a Philippine lawyer submitted a complaint of “killings innocent lives”. Duterte refuted the allegations, claiming he was groundlessly attacked by UN officials and self-defense was employed against the suspects when the arrests were opposed despite dozens of children being killed in the police raids.
Philippine Ambassador Eduardo Malaya on Friday, according to court filings, requested a postponement of the probe, stating that the Philippine government was investigating on its own. The prosecutor from ICC, Karim Khan, said the prosecution was on hold to investigate the deferral request, adding that they would ask the Philippine administration for more details.
The Human Rights Watch has condemned the decision made by ICC, citing there won’t be justice to the victims and families as the Philippines’ preposterous investigation will only lead to avoid the further probe by the court.
HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams says…
“Impunity is the norm under President Duterte, which is why the ICC needs to investigate.”
The National Union of People’s Lawyers, which represents a number of victims’ families, has stated that the ICC probe is the sole hope of seeing justice for their clients, mentioning the efforts in recent months had offered them a glimpse of optimism.
“We can’t take that away from them right now”.
Since July 2016, at least 6,181 people have been killed in over 200,000 anti-drug operations, according to official figures. Prosecutors at the ICC estimate that between 12,000 and 30,000 people have died.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle
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