The International Criminal Court has authorized a full investigation into the "war on drugs " of Philippine President, claiming it looked like an illegitimate and systematic attack on civilians.
The judges said there was a "reasonable basis "to believe that the crimThe murder against humanity was committed during the crackdown, which killed up to tens of thousands of people .
Rodrigo Duterte withdrew Manila from the Hague tribunal in 2019 after it launched a preliminary investigation, but the ICC said it had jurisdiction over the crimes committed then that the Philippines was still a member.
ICC judges said the "so-called war on drugs campaign cannot be considered a legitimate law enforcement operation, and the killings neither as legitimate nor as mere excesses in an otherwise legitimate operation ".
Evidence suggests that a "widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population has taken place in application or as part of a politicale state ", they said in a statement.
Former ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked in June judges from authorize a full investigation into allegations that police unlawfully killed tens of thousands of civilians.
The case will be investigated uploaded by his successor, Karim Khan , who took over shortly after s.
The crackdown on drugs is Duterte's signature political initiative and he fiercely defends it , especially against critics such as Western leaders and institutions who he says don't care about his country.
The leader was elected in 2016 on a campaign pledge to get rid of the drug problem in the Philippines, openly ordering police to kill drug suspects if their lives were in danger.
At least 6,181 people have been killed in more than 200,000 anti-drug operations carried out since July 2016, according to the latest official data released by the Data Philippines in July this year. ICC prosecutors in court documents estimate the number of people killed to be between 12,000 and 30,000.
Prosecutors said that Manila had not denied that people had been killed during police operations, but "instead sooherente argued that these deaths were the result of officers acting in self-defense. ”
Duterte drew international censorship when he pulled the Philippines out of the court. Judges said that even though the Philippines withdrew as a state party to the court, the alleged crimes took place while Manila was still under the Rome Statute, so it could still investigate them. .
Established in 2002, the ICC is a so-called court of last resort and is only involved in the world's worst crimes if its member states do not may or may not want to. The investigation will also cover the alleged killings in the southern Davao region between 2011 and 2016, when Duterte was mayor. They were allegedly committed by police and vigilantes, including a group called "Davao's death squad" themselves.
"The people involved in these meurtres appear in some cases [to be] the same people who were later involved in the campaign against drugs, "ICC prosecutors have said.
The majority of the victims were young men suspected of small-scale drug trafficking or petty crimes such as theft and drug use "while gang members and street children were also killed," said prosecutors.
Spielder Duterte has repeatedly asserted that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over him and that he does not cooperate with him. 'he called the investigation "illegal", even threatening to arrest Bensouda at some point.
Rights groups have welcomed the move, saying the The ICC ruling "provides much needed control" over the "Duterte 's war on drugs.
"The families of victims and survivors have reason to hope that those responsible for crimes against humanity can finally be brought to justice, "said Carlos Conde, researcher at Human Rights Watch.