Over the past months, thousands of people who use drugs and people suspected of using and/or selling drugs have been killed in the Philippines. The Filipino President, Rodrigo Duterte, is responsible: he has repeatedly encouraged the police and the general public to murder people suspected of being drug users and/or of dealing drugs. As a result, people who use drugs no longer have the right to life in the Philippines.
The President of the Philippines has promoted, incited, and actively endorsed the extrajudicial killings. He has vocally ridiculed statements by the United Nations to respect life, human rights, wellbeing, and welfare of the most marginalised within Filipino society as “very stupid”. Efforts of United Nations agencies to date have been ineffectual and insufficient. Indeed, they have been dismissed outright by Duterte. President Duterte has revoked the human, civil, and political rights of people who use drugs, who continue to be tortured and butchered in the streets. These crimes are being committed with utter impunity.
Monday 10th October 2016 will kick off a week of sustained actions targeting the Filipino president and government through peaceful demonstrations at embassies and consulates of the Philippines around the world.
The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) will be joined by other drug user networks and activists, as well as human rights and drug policy agencies, to urgently demand a halt to the killing of people who use drugs in the Philippines.
People who use drugs are human beings. Our actions will emphasise that we are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and grandparents. We care for our families and communities, and our contribution to society is just as valuable and important as that of all other citizens. Our deaths cause untold suffering and pain among us and our communities, to our families, and to Filipino society as a whole.
It is vital that we mobilise together and in solidarity to call a halt to the killings.