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8 Aug 2016

Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Virgin founder Richard Branson decries human rights abuses surrounding Philippine President Duterte’s war on drugs

“Duterte’s war on drugs is not the answer”, 4 Aug 2016

…Duterte openly called on police and others to kill anyone involved in the drug trade, from drug traffickers and dealers to people who use drugs. This unprecedented and brutal call for people to take matters into their own hands has had devastating and shocking consequences.

Since the President’s inauguration, more than 400 people, alleged to be involved in the drug trade in some way, have been murdered by police or vigilantes, who have been empowered and emboldened by the President’s call for extrajudicial murder…

…To me, and many others, these are clear and unacceptable violations of international human rights standards the Philippines signed to uphold. Given how systematic and widespread these extrajudicial killings are, I wonder how long it will be until someone points out that what has been unfolding are actual crimes against humanity…

…Fighting fire with fire won’t work. The Philippines must reverse course immediately and choose evidence-based policies that put people first, reduce harm and put an end to these atrocities.