Human Rights Challenge: Drug War Killings in a Time of Authoritarianism
NEW YORK — “President Duterte has lost the war on drugs,” said Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros’ video message to the attendees of a human rights forum in New York City on Monday.
“For the past two years, our country has been the center of attention of the international community conversation — because of an abusive and corrupt war on drugs that’s been implemented here, claiming more than 20,000 lives.”
The forum is called: “Judicial and Extrajudicial Drug War: Killings in a Time of Authoritarianism.”
The president’s authoritarian dealings are compounded by his license to kill public pronouncements.
Washington and Lee School of Law Professor Jason Wright says this drug war is a tool of intimidation to silence critics.
The panel also talked about how these scenarios can be fended off, through international pressure, including sanctions.
Stop the Drug War’s executive director David Borden says there is a bill in the US Senate that has a good chance of becoming law that would restrict funding for the Philippine drug war.
“We do feel that governments, especially donor governments should be applying whatever pressure they can, doing so carefully. International pressure is likely to work in effect in the Philippines.”
Wright says the most effective way to fend off authoritarians lies within the power of the people.