Tuesday, June 30, 2020
"The bloody and chaotic campaign against drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte began when he took office on June 30. Since then, about 2,000 people have been slain at the hands of the police alone. The image above shows the location in 49 Manila killing fields where the bodies of 57 victims have been found during 35 day investigation by a writer from the New York Times (December 7).
The mania of this modern Dr. Goebbels, is shown by his recent threat to include human rights critics who oppose his killings among his victims."
Subject: STATEMENT OF SENATOR LEILA M. DE LIMA IN SUPPORT OF THE CALL TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES AND TO EXPEDITE THE PROCEEDINGS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
The doors of domestic accountability for Rodrigo Duterte and his co- conspirators may have been closed, but the windows of international scrutiny have remained open.
I wholeheartedly join the 31 UN human rights experts in their collective call for the creation of an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines. This clamor came in the wake of the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which she submitted on 4 June 2020 pursuant to Resolution 41/2 of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that was adopted a year ago. That report have validated the findings of the same UN Special Rapporteurs, and various NGOs, fact-finding missions, academicians, and media outfits concerning, among others, the rampant and systematic killings and arbitrary detention in Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs”, the killings and abuses of farmers and indigenous peoples, and the silencing of the opposition, critics and independent media.
Given the magnitude and persistence of the human rights violations in the Philippines, the experts have renewed their call on the UNHRC to establish an on- the-ground independent, impartial investigation into human rights abuses in the country. They have likewise urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to“expedite and prioritize the completion of its preliminary examination of the situation in the Philippines.”
It maybe recalled that as early as December 2017, in my message for the International Human Rights Day, I have initiated a similar call upon the UNHRC to dispatch “an independent international commission of inquiry or an investigative commission”. In my appeals to the preeminent human rights body in their sessions in September 2018 and June 2019, I have reiterated such a call, and added the request “upon the International Criminal Court, through the Prosecutor, to expedite the proceedings before it on the situation in the Philippines.”
These twin calls (for an UNHRC-led investigation, and for expedited ICC process) find cogency and urgency at this time when the pandemic is being used as a cover and excuse by Duterte and his cohorts in further brutalizing, terrorizing and abusing the Filipino people. The mass murder of the poor has continued; the arbitrary arrests of sectoral and community leaders have persisted; the judicial harassment of the opposition and even online critics has exacerbated; and the threats upon the media and the church have remain unabated. This maelstrom of rights abuses continues rampaging amidst Duterte’s ever rising hate language and vitriol that has undoubtedly incited State agents and others to commit repeated acts of violence and abuses.
The High Commissioner’s Report and the joint call of the UN Special Rapporteurs are moral and legal victories that should give impetus to the UNHRC, the ICC and other global instruments of justice (such as the Magnitsky sanctions regime in some governments) to commence their monumental tasks of exacting real accountability, ensuring redress for the victims and their families, and signaling a definitive end to the mass atrocities and other serious violations committed by Duterte, his co-conspirators and accomplices.
Saturday, June 27, 2020
• 28 countries are abolitionist in practice
• 56 countries are retentionist
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Prisons Are Doing Mass Testing For COVID-19—And Finding Mass Infection
USA TODAY-10 hours ago
Fox 4-3 hours ago
Monday, March 02, 2020
Banned Iranian director wins Berlin Golden Bear for death penalty film
Rasoulof, 48, is currently banned from leaving Iran and was unable to accept the Golden Bear in person. Accepting the award on his behalf, producer Farzad Pak thanked “the amazing cast and crew who, put their lives in danger to be on this film”.
The film tells four loosely related individual stories about the death penalty in Iran, from the executioner to the families of the victims. Industry magazine Variety called it Rasoulof’s “most openly critical statement yet”.
The runner-up jury prize went to Eliza Hittman’s teenage abortion drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which had been a favourite among critics. Sidney Flanigan plays a 17-year-old from Pennsylvania forced to travel to New York in order to abort an unplanned pregnancy.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
1. Murder happens: Cain slew Abel
2. The death penalty is ineffective, it does not deter crime
3. Execution perpetuates the cycle of violence, a further killing does not undo an earlier killing.
Yes, there is a strong argument against the death penalty that is based on failures of the justice system that result in the execution of innocents. But this should never be used to justify the execution of the truly guilty. The basic abolitionist stand is outlined above. The question of true guilt is a matter for restorative justice which must take its course in a legal system that abjures the death penalty as an aberration of a primitive justice that relied on torture, punishments such as hanging, drawing, quartering, and burned women at the stake.
Monday, November 11, 2019
- More people are executed in Asia-Pacific than in the rest of the world combined at a time when regionally and in the world, the number of executions is declining.
- 95% of the world’s population lives in countries that retain and use the death penalty.
- 13 countries in the region have carried out executions in the past ten years.
- Failures of justice in trials that end in a death sentence cannot be reversed. Unfair trials in death penalty cases are known and documented across the region.
- The death penalty is not an effective deterrent to combat crime.
- The majority of those that face the death penalty are poor or from the marginalised in society.
- ADPAN maintains that the death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate form of cruel inhuman and degrading punishment.
ADPAN campaigns and lobbies for an end to the death penalty across the Asia Pacific region. We do this by:
- Joining in actions and lobbying against the death penalty, especially in countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Appealing on behalf of individuals facing execution from the region.
- Participating in the annual World Day against the Death Penalty (10 October) and Cities for Life 30 November.
- Issuing news releases, joint open letters, and media statements.
- Producing cross-regional reports and materials challenging the need for the death penalty such as unfair trials.
- Supporting the establishment of national coalitions against the death penalty.
- Contributing to national and regional strategies in support of abolition.
- Attending conferences to talk about regional developments on the death penalty."
The meeting on the 8th November confirmed the vitality of ADPAN. 24 people attended. The meeting was informal and spirited, Reflected was a tidal change in the Asian region, tentative but full of hope that abolition was possible and in some cases on the way, in contrast to a creeping approval of a return to support of the death penalty among the youth of Europe. (See the 54% of young Belgians approving a restoration of the death penalty, reported in FONDAPOL, (www.fondapol.org, "Democracies under pressure", May 19, 2019). A tidal wave of change in ASIA in favour of abolition will see a global end to the ancient curse of the death penalty. Perhaps even Belarus will yield!