UN official criticizes Duterte, Trump for ‘breaking taboos’


A HIGH ranking human rights official at the United Nations (UN) has condemned controversial world leaders for “undermining the (UN Convention against Torture) with their words.”

Speaking before an audience in London on Monday, June 26, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein pointed out U.S. President Donald Trump’s “persistent flirtation” with torture and said that the American public has become far more accepting of torture over the last 10 years.

In January, Trump admitted that he believes waterboarding is an effective way of interrogation. Waterboarding is a form of torture that simulates the sensation of drowning.

As for the Philippine president, Zeid cited the 9,000 people who have allegedly been killed since Pres. Rodrigo Duterte took office and launched his war on drugs.

“The president of the Philippines has spoken openly about extra-judicial killings. And the president of the United States of America has said that torture could be necessary in certain circumstances. There is no longer any pretense. They are breaking long-held taboos,” Zeid said.

PH votes to extend Callamard

Meanwhile, the Philippines, along with other countries, supported the move to extend the term of Agnes Callamard for another three years as the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions.

The Human Rights Council adopted the four-page resolution to extend Callamard’s term extension as initiated by the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland on June 22.

In addition to the term extension of Callamard, the resolution also acknowledged the importance of relevant procedures and mechanism in addressing extrajudicial killings around the world.

The Philippine government earlier slammed Callamard for criticizing Duterte’s bloody war against illegal drugs.

The special rapporteur was given an invitation to the country to conduct an investigation, but the Philippine government imposed pre-conditions, such as engaging Duterte in a public debate and to disclose her whereabouts during her investigation to help ensure her safety.

Callamard said she could not agree to the conditions as these were against the terms of reference governing special rapporteurs. (AJPress with reports from Reuters and Philstar.com)

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