39 countries express concern over killings in PH

Opinion & Analysis Philippines Sep 29, 2017 at 2:42 pm

UNUMR-logoGENEVA, Sept. 28, 2017–Today, Iceland delivered a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of 39 states, expressing concern at the thousands of killings and climate of impunity associated with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called “war on drugs.” This represents an increase over the 32 states which expressed similar concerns at the previous Council session in June. New signatories include the USA, Canada, Australia, Ukraine and Georgia, among others.

The following is the statement from Iceland’s deligation:

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf close to 40 countries* including my own country Iceland.

Since the Philippines underwent its UPR review this year, the human rights situation continues to be of serious concern.

We remain concerned about the thousands of killings and climate of impunity associated with the war on drugs, and note recent stated commitments to observe due process in investigating these crimes.

We urge the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to bring these killings to an end and cooperate with the international community to pursue appropriate investigations into these incidents, in keeping with universal principles of democratic accountability and the rule of law.

Mr. President,

We share concerns of the High Commissioner regarding intimidations against HRDs and call upon the Philippines to ensure their full protection and the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is guaranteed without reprisals.

We urge the government to pursue investigations of alleged human rights violations and abuses and to create a safe and secure environment for indigenous communities, journalists and HRDs.

Mr. President,

It is essential that governments are open to discussing human rights concerns based on UN recommendations and those of the civil society. We welcome the engagement of the Philippines with the UPR process and encourage them to fully implement the 103 recommendations they have accepted, while expressing regrets that recommendations necessary to address serious human rights violations were not accepted.

We reiterate, that as a member of the HRC, the Philippines is expected to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights and to cooperate fully with the Council.

We call upon the Government to work with civil society and the UN to promote and protect human rights, including by welcoming a visit from the SR on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, without preconditions or limitations.

We encourage the Philippines to request technical assistance in this regard, if necessary.

*On behalf of:

1. Australia
2. Austria
3. Belgium
4. Bulgaria
5. Canada
6. Croatia
7. Cyprus
8. Czech Republic
9. Denmark
10. Estonia
11. Finland
12. France
13. Georgia
14. Germany
15. Greece
16. Iceland
17. Ireland
18. Italy
19. Latvia
20. Liechtenstein
21. Lithuania
22. Luxembourg
23. Macedonia
24. Malta
25. Moldova
26. Montenegro
27. Norway
28. Poland
29. Portugal
30. Rumania
31. Slovakia
32. Slovenia
33. Spain
34. Sweden
35. Switzerland
36. The Netherlands
37. UK
38. Ukraine
39. United States

(For further info: John Fisher, Geneva Director, Human Rights Watch; fisherj@hrw.org)