UN official says Duterte lacks understanding of human rights institutions

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said President Duterte lacks understanding of human rights institutions
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the Filipinos have the right to judicial institutions that are impartial and operates under due process guarantees
Al Hussein urged the Philippine government to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions


A United Nations (UN) official said President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of scorn for international human rights law displays a “lack of understanding of our human rights institutions and the principles which keep societies safe.”

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in a speech during the the 33rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, reminded President Duterte that a “fair and impartial rule of law is the foundation of public confidence and security” and that “empowering police force to shoot to kill any individual whom they claim to suspect of drug crimes, with or without evidence, undermines justice.”

Al Hussein, who is a Jordanian prince, added that the Filipino people have the right to “judicial institutions that are impartial, and operate under due process guarantees; and they have a right to a police force that serves justice.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Philippine government to extend an invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“My office is ready to assist, including with respect to rule of law institutions and the prevention and treatment of drug use in accordance with international norms.”

Last month, UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard suggested that the Philippine government be held responsible for extra-judicial killings amid its war on drugs, saying “claims to fight illicit drug trade do not absolve the government from its international legal obligations and do not shield state actors or others from responsibility for illegal killings.”

Callamard’s statement provoked an angry outburst from President Duterte.

“Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you’re that rude, son of a b****, we’ll just leave you,” Duterte warned.

The President also said that should the Philippines break off from the UN, he would invite other countries like China and African nations to form a new international body.
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