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Group renews call for thorough probe into EJKs ahead of UN rights expert's visit

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Group renews call for thorough probe into EJKs ahead of UN rights expert's visit
This photo taken on June 10, 2022 shows relatives of a victim of the government's drug war carrying a box containing the remains after they were exhumed at Bagbag Cemetery in Novaliches, Metro Manila.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — A coalition of human rights advocates renewed its call for a transparent and thorough investigation into extrajudicial killings ahead of the planned visit of a United Nations special rapporteur next year.

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines welcomed the invitation of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla to Morris Tidball-Binz to visit the country. Tidball-Binz is the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

"Tidball-Binz’s visit would be an important next step in the process of seeking justice for the thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings under the previous Duterte government, as well as the current Marcos government," ICHRP chairperson Peter Murphy said in a statement Monday.

The UN expert is a medical doctor who specializes in forensic science, human rights, and humanitarian action.

Remulla said the invitation to Tidball-Binz is "more of a follow-up" to the capacity building under the United Nations Joint Programme.

According to government figures, over 6,000 suspected drug users or dealers, mostly impoverished Filipinos, have been killed in the government’s “war on drugs.” But rights organizations claim more than 30,000 have been killed since former President Rodrigo Duterte launched the campaign in 2016.

"Given this recent announcement, we reiterate our call to the Marcos administration for open, transparent, and thorough investigation of these crimes, and justice for all victims and their families," Murphy said.

"This means investigation and prosecution of all perpetrators of such crimes, and an end to the state of impunity which has allowed so many members of the police force to avoid prosecution so far," he added.

UN special rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography, and other child sexual abuse material Mama Fatima Singhateh is scheduled to visit the Philippines from November 28 to December 8.

Meanwhile, special rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion Irene Khan will visit the country next year.

HUMAN RIGHTS

PHILIPPINES

WAR ON DRUGS

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