Amnesty International has urgently called for international pressure and an immediate U.N. investigation to help end what it says are possible crimes against humanity in the Philippine president’s bloody anti-drug crackdown.
The London-based rights watchdog says in a study released Monday that extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s 3-year-old campaign remain rampant and the scale of abuses has reached “the threshold of crimes against humanity.”
It says Bulacan province has become “the country’s bloodiest killing field” after some officers were transferred there from the Manila metropolis, which used to be the “epicenter of killings.”
The Duterte administration denies it has a policy allowing extrajudicial killings, although he has repeatedly threatened drug dealers with death. About 6,600 people have died in the crackdown, and most were suspected of petty drug crimes.