The following statement comes as a response to an open letter drafted by IDPC and supported by over 350 civil society organisations that asks the UNODC and the INCB to call upon the Phillipines to take immediate action to stop ongoing extrajudicial killings targeting alleged drug users and dealers. 

VIENNA, 3 August (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has become aware of reports by various media outlets of acts of violence and murder in the Philippines committed against individuals suspected of involvement in the illicit drug trade or of drug use, and which may have been encouraged or condoned by members of the Government.

The Board is of the view that, should these reports prove accurate, this would constitute a serious breach of the legal obligations to which the Philippines is held by the three UN drug control conventions and by the corpus of international legal instruments to which the country has adhered.

The drug control conventions require criminal justice responses to drug-related criminality, which include internationally-recognized due process standards and which reject extrajudicial sanctions of whatever nature. With respect to drug abuse, the conventions commit to a humane and balanced approach requiring the Parties to give special attention to, and take all practicable measures for, the prevention of drug abuse and for the early identification, treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the persons affected.

On behalf of the Board, INCB President Werner Sipp calls on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to issue an immediate and unequivocal condemnation and denunciation of extrajudicial actions against individuals suspected of involvement in the illicit drug trade or of drug use, to put an immediate stop to such actions, and to ensure that the perpetrators of such acts are brought to justice in full observance of due process and the rule of law.        

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Via Tsuji