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UN rights expert to probe Philippine killings

Philipines President Rodrigo Duterte had pledged to kill 100,000 criminals after he was elected to power on May 9 in a landslide victory. Photograph: (Reuters)

Philippines Sep 26, 2016, 08.41 AM (IST)
A United Nations (UN) rights expert will soon start investigations into President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on crime in Philipines, international agency AFP reported today.

Last week, the president had said that he would allow the UN and European Union (EU) to investigate the killings, however, he challenged to face him in public debates.

More than 3,000 people have been killed in the last 11 weeks in the country as part of Duterte's war on crime, drawing widespread condemnation from all quarters. Reuters reported. The president had pledged to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months of office after he was elected to power on May 9 in a landslide victory.

Philippines foreign minister Perfecto Yasay on Saturday told the United Nations that the world should not interfere in Duterte's crackdown on crime.

 "The Duterte government is determined to free the Philippines from corrupt and other stagnating practices, including the manufacture, distribution and use of illicit drugs," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"Our actions, however, have grabbed both national headlines and international attention for all the wrong reasons."

While Philipines has not yet issued a formal invitation, the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, has told AFP that she would seek one.

"I welcome the reports recently (conveyed) through the media that the president and government of the Philippines will invite a UN mission to investigate the alleged extrajudicial executions," Callamard said in a statement emailed to AFP.

However, she said that she would insist on a range of measures to ensure that those who spoke with her did not face retribution.

Those would include "my freedom of movement and freedom of inquiry, and the assurance that those who cooperate with me will not be the object of retaliation, such as intimidation, threats, harassment or punishment," she was quoted as saying.

"The date and scope of the fact-finding mission will be discussed and negotiated with the government, along with essential guarantees," she said.

(WION with inputs from AFP, Reuters)
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