ICC investigation in the Philippines: Asian drug users hope for justice

ICC investigation in the Philippines: Asian drug users hope for justice

Support ANPUD to end war on people who use drugs in the Philippines.

The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) welcomes the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a preliminary examination into the war on drugs in the Philippines.

Anand Chabungbam, the Regional Coordinator of ANPUD said: “More than 13000 people have already been killed in the Philippines. They were people, more importantly someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, father or mother, they had their dreams and now they are gone. We are hopeful that the ICC will soon conclude on its examination and bring President Duterte and his allies to justice”.

Watch: ICC Prosecutor opens preliminary examinations into the situations in the Philippines and in Venezuela Also in French and Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/user/IntlCriminalCourt/

โพสต์โดย International Criminal Court – ICC บน 8 กุมภาพันธ์ 2018

On February 8, 2018, the prosecutor of the ICC, in her statement, said, “The preliminary examination of the situation in the Philippines will analyze crimes allegedly committed in this state party since at the first of July 2016, in the context of the war on drugs campaign launched by the government of the Philippines. Specifically it has been alleged that since July 2016 thousands of persons have been killed for reasons related to their alleged involvement in illegal drug use or dealing.”

Though not at the same scale and nature, similar practices have permeated other Southeast Asian countries. For instances:

  • Indonesian human rights monitor Kontras estimates police and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) fatally shot 106 drugs suspectsbetween September 2016 and September 2017.
  • Cambodian government’s war on drugs launched in January 2017 has resulted in more than 13,ooo arrests of people suspected for drug use or trafficking.
  • Myanmar practices mandatory registration of people who use drugs although mandatory detention centres run by the government have been closed. Mandatory detention is still practised in areas under the control of ethnic armies. A recent report noted that prisons are overcrowded with drug users sentenced to excessively long prison terms.
  • Thailand continues to practice arrest and detention leading to ill treatment of people who use drugs, as detailed in a recent investigation and report by Amnesty International. Some online news sources have reported extrajudicial killings of people suspected for drug use or trafficking.

War on people who use drugs, either openly declared as in the Philippines or undeclared at all, has been the primary response to the problem of drugs among the Asian governments. The wounds of the Thai drug war in 2003 are still open and we have been forced to face another brutal war that has resulted in the killings of thousands of people – including many children – in the Philippines.

ANPUD believes that ICC’s intervention in the Philippines will give a strong message to the Asian governments. But at the same time, underscores that war on people who use drugs has been iterative due to the criminalization of people who use drugs. Though the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and other UN bodies have advocated against the use of capital punishment for drug-related offences, governments have been expert in translating the three UN conventions (1961, 1971, 1988) into a bloody war on people who use drugs at country level.

We urge the ICC, through this examination process in the Philippines, to send out a message that will discourage United Nations and global leaders from crafting laws and treaties that inadvertently promote crimes against humanity.

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