EU calls for Philippines' ‘impartial and transparent’ probe on deaths

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The European Union said that while it recognises that the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs is “an important priority for the government,” it emphasised that the anti-drug campaign should be in full compliance with due process, national law and international human rights law.

The European Union (EU) has urged the Philippine government to immediately conduct an “impartial and transparent” investigation on drug war-related killings, as it expressed its “deep concern” over the reported high number of such deaths in the country.

At the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday, the EU stated that while it recognises that the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs is “an important priority for the government,” it emphasised that the anti-drug campaign should be in full compliance with due process, national law and international human rights law.

“The EU remains deeply concerned about the high number of killings,” the EU said in a statement. “It is important that all cases of death should be promptly and effectively investigated in an impartial and transparent manner, which ensures appropriate prosecution of those responsible.”

The EU also called on the Philippines to respect its obligations under international law and not reinstate the death penalty.

Aside from the Philippines, the EU also cited other countries with human rights issues that supposedly require the UNHRC’s “attention and early warning.” These countries include North Korea, Egypt, the Russian Federation, China, Pakistan, Venezuela and the occupied Palestinian territory. 

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