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Philippines Stays in Rights Council, Despite Deadly Drug Crackdown

The Philippines has been elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council, boosting President Rodrigo Duterte's reputation after two years of criticism of hitman-style killings in his country's crackdown on illegal drugs. Rights groups opposed the country's bid, saying it has no business joining the council, which calls out rights abuses. Duterte, elected in 2016, has openly challenged U.N. special rapporteurs worried about conditions in the Philippines. Earlier this year, his government withdrew from the statute behind the International Criminal Court as the court was checking accusations that Duterte and other officials had committed crimes against humanity in the anti-drug campaign. But Duterte has allowed the Philippine government's own Commission on Human Rights to check reports of up to 12,000 extrajudicial killings, including minors, at the hands of police trying to throttle the drug trade. Duterte has also approved "reforms" for the rights of common Filipinos, his foreign secretary says. "It's rather...

 

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