AMSTERDAM, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - The judges of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday approved aformal investigation into possible crimes against humanity allegedly committed under the leadership of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in the context of his "war on drugs ".
The judges approved a request by the court prosecutor to open an investigation into a potential murder as a crime against humanity.
Their assessment of the documents presented by prosecutors, who had requested leave to investigate, was that " the so-called "war on drugs campaign cannot be considered a legitimate law enforcement operation ", but rather as a systematic attack on civilians.
Human rights groups accuse Duterte of inciting deadly violence and claiming that police mass murdered unarmed drug suspects as part of the campaign. Police deny this and Duterte assertsEven though the police were ordered to kill only in self-defense.
In July, Duterte attacked the court, claiming that he would continue his fight against drugs. "I have never denied it, and the ICC can record it: Those who destroy my country - I will kill you " he said. find out more
Although the Philippines withdrew from the ICC, it was a member between July 2016 and March 2019, the period covered by the prospective investigation.
The judges said that the relevant crimes appeared to have continued after that date, but that the tribunal was limited to investigating those suspected of having taken place while the Philippines was a member. Report from Toby Sterling; Edited by Kevin Liffey
Our standards: Thomson Hfrance.fr's principles of trust.