The United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings condemned Friday the use of violence to combat illegal drugs, as she made a surprise visit to the Philippines that angered President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a speech at a state-run Manila university, Callamard warned of the many pitfalls of governments globally adopting violent responses to illegal drugs, and said she had been watching events in the Philippines closely.
“The ‘war on drugs’ does not work,” Callamard said. She praised people in the Philippines who had spoken out against Duterte’s drug war.
“I have followed testimonies of the relatives of victims, I have seen the brave work of civil society actors, lawyers, human rights defenders, academics, senators.
“I have heard debates between politicians, explanations by government officials, and indeed I have watched footage too of police and military men – and all saying there are other ways; better ways; other options, and better options.”
Duterte’s government appeared to be caught off guard by Callamard’s unannounced trip, and said it would lodge a protest with the United Nations because she had not organised the visit through official channels.—Agencies