MEDIA RELEASE – #CancelAMO
Bangkok (April 6, 2018) – The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) have released an open letter to Mr. Reed Hastings, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Netflix. In the letter, the two human rights organizations demand that Netflix immediately cancel plans to stream the Philippines drug war series “AMO” that actively promotes murder, extrajudicial killings, violence, and the war on drugs in the Philippines.
The two organizations believe that “AMO” actively promotes the state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings of tens of thousands of Filipinos, the state-endorsed murders of more than 20,000 people[i] – many of them children – ostensibly suspected of using or selling drugs since June 2016. Filipino President Duterte’s war on people who use drugs, that is often referred to as a ‘War on Poor’, has brought destitution and anguish to hundreds of thousands of lives, including thousands who are imprisoned under inhumane conditions.
“First Apple and Google made those insensible games available through their app stores. Now Netflix is promoting Duterte and his bloody war on people who use drugs as the right thing to do. Seriously, what is wrong with the corporate sectors?”, said Anand Chabungbam, Regional Coordinator of the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD). “Apple did the right thing by removing those games and we truly expect nothing less from Netflix”, he added.
In February 2018, the ICC launched an initial inquiry into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by Duterte in his brutal anti-drugs crusade.[ii]
Supporters of Duterte and his war on drugs in the Philippines have been developing mass media tools to counter national and international criticisms. Different smartphone apps, short films and television programs like “AMO” are the means by which Duterte maintains and cultivates his public image.
Executive Director of INPUD, Judy Chang says, “Glorifying President Duterte’s war on drugs is the glorification of mass murder, killings and human rights abuses. This has real implications for causing further harm to the lives of people who use drugs, their families and communities in the Philippines and beyond. The lives of people who use drugs – our lives – are not tools and instruments to be used for political capital nor public entertainment”.
It is entirely inappropriate and grotesque for Netflix to be promoting a drug war that has resulted in thousands of brutal murders. The open letter urges that Mr. Hastings:
undertakes a formal review of the series “AMO” in light of the human rights principles and the ongoing crisis in the Philippines.
Immediately cancels the streaming of “AMO”.
[i] Senator: Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war has killed 20,000: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/senator-rodrigo-duterte-drug-war-killed-20000-180221134139202.html
[ii] ICC launches crimes against humanity inquiry into Duterte’s war on drugs: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/08/icc-claims-crimes-against-humanity-duterte-philippines