GENEVA / PHILIPPINES HUMAN RIGHTS

30-Jun-2020 00:02:26
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged the President of the Philippines “to refrain from signing” a new anti-terrorism law which, if implemented, could have “chilling effect on human rights and humanitarian work, hindering support to vulnerable and marginalized communities.” UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / PHILIPPINES HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 2:26
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 30 JUNE 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, flag alley, Palais des Nations, United Nations Geneva.
2. Wide shot, Assembly Hall, UN Geneva, temporary UN Human Rights Council.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “The recent passage of the new Anti-Terrorism Act heightens our concerns about the blurring of important distinctions between criticism, criminality and terrorism. The law could have a further chilling effect on human rights and humanitarian work, hindering support to vulnerable and marginalized communities.”
4. Med, shot, delegates spaced apart, wearing facemasks, typing on laptops.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“So I would I urge the President to refrain from signing the law, and to initiate a broad-based consultation process to draft legislation that can effectively prevent and counter violent extremism, but which contains some safeguards to prevent its misuse against people engaged in peaceful criticism and advocacy.”
6. Med shot, photographer adjusting lens, wearing facemask.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The campaign against illegal drugs is being carried out without due regard for the rule of law, due process and the human rights of people who may be using or selling drugs. The report finds that the killings have been widespread and systematic – and they are ongoing.”
8. Med shot, delegates wearing facemasks, sitting apart, profile.
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The State has an obligation to conduct independent investigations into the grave violations we have documented. In the absence of clear and measurable outcomes from domestic mechanisms, the Council should consider options for international accountability measures.”
10. Med shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Menardo Guevarra, Justice Secretary, Philippines:
“Our President ran and won on a campaign promise of a drug-free Philippines. There, our people are safe and their rights protected. The President has discharged this mandate fruitfully. After four years, the President and his anti-drug campaign enjoy the strong and widespread support of our people.”
12. Med shot, delegates looking at podium (out of shot), wearing facemasks.
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Menardo Guevarra, Justice Secretary, Philippines:
“Claims that there is impunity or near-impunity in the country find no anchor in a system that provides every avenue to examine, establish and pursue a claim of wrongdoing by a State actor, if such claim is substantiated with facts.”
14. Various shots, delegates with masks
STORYLINE
The Human Rights Council should consider supporting new accountability measures against perpetrators of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines’ so-called war on illegal drugs, the UN’s top rights official said on Tuesday.

Michelle Bachelet’s appeal follows publication of a report by her office indicating that many thousands of people – and possibly more than 25,000 - have been killed in police and vigilante operations since the launch of campaign Double Barrel on 1 July 2016 and until 31 January 2020.

In February 2018, the International Criminal Court announced that it intended to open a preliminary examination of the situation in the Philippines and analyse crimes allegedly committed in this State Party since at least 1 July 2016, in the context of the "war on drugs" campaign.

In an address to Member States in Geneva on the opening day of the Council’s 44th session, Michelle Bachelet also reiterated concerns over proposed new anti-terror legislation that are now before President Rodrigo Duterte, for signing into law.

The proposed 2020 Anti-Terrorism Act “dilutes human rights safeguards, broadens the definition of terrorism and expands the period of detention without warrant from three to 14 days, extendable by another 10 days”, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) report insisted.

“The recent passage of the new Anti-Terrorism Act heightens our concerns about the blurring of important distinctions between criticism, criminality and terrorism,” the High Commissioner for Human Rights said. “The law could have a further chilling effect on human rights and humanitarian work, hindering support to vulnerable and marginalized communities…So I would I urge the President to refrain from signing the law, and to initiate a broad-based consultation process to draft legislation that can effectively prevent and counter violent extremism, but which contains some safeguards to prevent its misuse against people engaged in peaceful criticism and advocacy.”

According to Bachelet’s office, the campaign against illegal drugs has been linked to the deaths of at least 73 children, with the youngest victim being only five months old.

Echoing these concerns, Bachelet underscored that the operation was being carried out “without due regard for the rule of law, due process and the human rights of people who may be using or selling drugs. The report finds that the killings have been widespread and systematic – and they are ongoing.”
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