Activists of Amnesty International (AI) Thailand joined a gathering on Monday in front of the Philippines Embassy in Bangkok to hand over an open letter demanding an end to the “War on Drugs” in the Philippines.
The activists, dressed in Filipinos’ national costume, gave out mangoes to participants, observers and police.
They said the fruit represented harmony and friendship between Thailand and the Philippines. They said they hoped to convey a friendly message that their calls to end the War on Drugs are in the best interest of the people in both countries and the region.
They said their concerns were based on their report “If you are poor, you are killed: Extrajudicial executions in the Philippines ‘War on Drugs’,” which was published on January 31.
“Based on witness statements and corroborating documents including police reports and other information, Amnesty International concluded that the vast majority of the killings that we investigated appear to have been unlawful extrajudicial executions which were carried out by government order or with its complicity and acquiescence,” Piyanut Kotsan, director of Amnesty International Thailand, said.
He said the AI report has shown that most of those killed are people from poor communities, making what is officially portrayed as the “War on Drugs” a war on the poor.
It has also had a devastating impact on children, who have been killed, harmed during police operations or experienced severe trauma as a result of losing a family member, according to the AI statement.
Piyanut said: “The scales of alleged human rights violations are alarming. We are calling on the government of the Philippines to send a clear message to all law enforcement officials and the public in the Philippines that extrajudicial executions are unacceptable and strictly prohibited at all times.
“We also urge them to prioritise prompt, impartial and effective investigations into all drug related killings, particularly by law enforcement officials. And they must press criminal charges in any cases where investigations uncover sufficient, admissible evidence of responsibility for offences involving human rights violations.”
During the 30th Asean Summit, being held in Manila between April 2629, AI in many countries are also submitting their open letters to the government of Philippines to stop and investigate human rights violations in its war on drugs.