Philippines: Nearly 300,000 drug suspects have been jailed in 'war on drugs'

Statement at the 47th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Interactive dialogue ID with Working Group on arbitrary detention on its study on drug policies

CIVICUS, Karapatan and FORUM-ASIA welcome the study of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on human rights violations related to drug policies.

This study resonates with our experience in the Philippines, where cases of torture, cruel and degrading treatment of those facing drug charges have been reported and where proposed amendments to drug control legislation provide for the revival of the death penalty and the presumption of guilt of suspects. Inhumane conditions in detention centers, wherein nearly 300,000 drug suspects have been jailed in the course of the government’s drug war, persist. Meanwhile, defenders and lawyers who provide assistance to victims of such violations face attacks, threats and harassment.

We welcome the Working Group’s recommendations which are important guides for States, especially the Philippines where the drug war has claimed lives and affected liberties. We urge the Philippine government to heed these important recommendations. We urge the Council, in the light of the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s request for a full investigation in the Philippines, to conduct an independent investigation on violations in the context of the “war on drugs,” including extrajudicial killings, and possible arbitrary arrests and detention in the country.


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