Myanmar: Foreign journalists charged over parliament drone flight

Myanmar police have charged two foreign journalists and two Burmese with breaking import laws after they flew a drone near the country’s parliament.

_98522847_mediaitem98522846

They are being held in custody until their first hearing and could face up to three years in jail.

The Malaysian and Singaporean were working for Turkish broadcaster TRT.

Tension has been rising between Myanmar and Turkey over the Rohingya crisis, in which more than 600,000 people have fled Rakhine state for Bangladesh.

Last month the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that violence against Rohingya Muslims amounted to genocide. Myanmar says it is fighting insurgents.

Security guards spotted the journalists flying the drone near parliament buildings and pagodas in the capital Naypyidaw, state media reported.

Lau Hon Meng from Singapore and Mok Choy Lin from Malaysia have been detained since Friday.

Their interpreter, Burmese journalist Aung Naing Soe, and their driver were also detained.

A police spokesman said the journalists had “illegally imported the drone”.

TRT said it was in discussions with Myanmar authorities to secure their release.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the Singapore and Malaysian embassies about the journalists’ detention, state media said.

Source : EIN

About Values                  About Attitude             About Behaviour

Advertisements

US police train in counterterrorism in Israel, attend 9/11 memorial

By Daniel K. Eisenbud
391730

“In our communities, for a lot of police officers, it’s a job, and I think that it’s more than a job for a lot of the officers in Israel because they are protecting their homeland.”

For the second consecutive year, the Police Unity Tour, a delegation of 52 American law-enforcement officers from 12 states, arrived in Israel to train in counterterrorism techniques and attend an annual 9/11 memorial service outside Jerusalem.

According to the delegation’s leader, Michael Safris, chief of the Essex County’s Sheriff’s Office Deputy Division, the Police Unity Tour was established in 1997 to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

“We are here to honor fallen police officers from the US and Israel,” he said on Monday.

“The motto of the Police Unity Tour is ‘We ride for those who died,’ and last year when we came here we did a one-day bike tour with Israeli officers, and in May we had 12 Israeli officers ride with us from New Jersey to our police memorial in Washington, DC, to participate in a candle-lighting vigil for fallen US officers,” Safris said.

During their stay, the US delegation will be based at the Beit Shemesh police academy, where they will participate in multiple counterterrorism training exercises, meet with elite units, and be briefed by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich.

The delegation will conclude following a September 11 memorial service held at the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in the Arazim Valley.

Safris, 72, who is Jewish and has hosted Israeli police delegations in the US for the past 10 years, said he has visited Israel 40 times.

“From all my trips, I know the delegation forms an important relationship, and if something happens in the US or something happens here, we stay in touch and honor each country’s fallen officers,” he said. “The relationship and comradery developed over the last two years is one of the reasons we keep coming.”

In terms of heightened antisemitism in the US – recently manifested by violent white supremacists who chanted “Jew will not replace us!” while marching in Charlottesville, Virginia – Safris said the country is indeed becoming alarmingly polarized.

“There is definitely a big divide, and I think people feel more emboldened by some of the things that President Trump said, or didn’t say,” he said. “There is a definite uptick [in antisemitism].”

Asked if security for Jewish people and organizations has been heightened in the US, Safris responded “100 percent.”

“Jewish communities have hired security directors and people now have to sign in at synagogues and community centers,” he said. “It’s a lot different than it was over the last year.”

Safris said what distinguishes the Israeli police internationally is their commitment not only to law enforcement, but to Israel’s existential struggle.

“In our communities, for a lot of police officers, it’s a job, and I think that it’s more than a job for a lot of the officers in Israel because they are protecting their homeland,” he said.

“We have a lot of discussions about this when we are here,” Safris said. “It’s not just about keeping Israel going, but keeping it strong. You know, you can’t put down your weapons; you gotta be strong and act quickly, otherwise it’s going to be a lot worse.”

“They are protecting a way of life here,” he added.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, who met with the American delegation, said Israel’s ongoing security threats and the police’s efficient handling of them makes it an ideal arena for officers from across the globe to train.

“In terms of counterterrorism tactics that have been used and implemented at numerous scenes across the country, where unfortunately terrorist attacks have taken place, the Israeli police have used those tactics to minimize injuries, as well as find rapid solutions,” he said.

“Over the next few days, the Police Unity Tour will learn and see a number of these tactics across the country,” Rosenfeld added.

 Source : Jerusalem Post

Ethiopia widens anti-corruption crackdown with asset freezes

Ethiopia has widened an anti-corruption crackdown with asset freezes on 210 individuals and 15 companies.

index

The individuals and companies sanctioned are suspected to have links with recently arrested government officials, business people and brokers on allegations of corrupt activities, according to report by state owned Ethiopian News Agency on Friday. Continue reading……..

Read This From Commission Crowd

Security Tops L/G Chairman’s Priority

index

As security challenges continue to envelope most communities in Nigeria,  political appointees at all level of governance in the country have started embarking on ways to check the unbecoming situation.

When the crime rate of a community is on the increase, security experts insist that the leaders  of the community  are to blame.

Visit Katingi Ventures Limited

Indeed, in several communities in Nigeria, owners of houses are  to blame for accommodating questionable  characters, who later turn out to be criminals.

In his views, the newly appointed  Chairman of Ibadan South West Local Government, Ibadan, Nigeria, Hon. Gbenga Opaleye, security of lives and property would be his focus.

”First and foremost, I have already started with security. In my Local Government, we are encountering a lot of security challenges, the area boys, the people from Born Photo, Foko and some other places. Last week, I went round to  speak with some of them”.

”I advised  them that if they are  ready  to remain in my Local Government, they should comply with the  rules and regulation of the Local Government, if they want jobs, we will find  a way of creating jobs for them. But if they  are not ready to  comply, we will send them to where they belong  to. So if there is security of lives and property, that means the environment is enabled.  And if you look  at it very well, Oyo state  is the most peaceful state in the world, not even in the country, courtesy of my Governor, His Excellency, Abiola Ajimobi”, Hon. Opaleye disclosed.

Second suspect in custody after Facebook Live sexual assault

By John Keilman and  Heather Schroering

Chicago Tribune

A second teen has been taken into custody in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that was recorded on Facebook, police said.

The suspect, a 15-year-old boy, was taken into custody “accompanied by a parent,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an emailed statement Monday afternoon.

A second teen has been taken into custody in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that was recorded on Facebook, police said.

The suspect, a 15-year-old boy, was taken into custody “accompanied by a parent,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an emailed statement Monday afternoon.

Visit Udon Biz

The news came a day after police announced charges against a 14-year-old boy.

The 14-year-old, who was charged April 1, was expected to face a hearing in juvenile court Monday, but Cook County Associate Judge Patricia Mendoza waived his appearance until April 28. The boy is in custody in a detention center, according to an assistant state’s attorney.

Police are also trying to identify others who took part in the assault, officials said, but the investigation has been slowed by the trauma experienced by the girl.

“She’s just having such a difficult time even communicating what occurred to her,” Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said at a Sunday news conference at Chicago police headquarters. “We obviously have a video of the incident, so we have verifiable objective evidence of what occurred to this young lady, but she’s just having a very difficult time.

“On top of it, there’s constant social media … bullying (of the girl), making fun of what occurred. This is just a very traumatic incident.”

The girl had stayed over with family the evening of March 18 and gone to church with them the next day, then was dropped off near home before disappearing.

Deenihan said the girl was “lured” to a residence by one of the attackers, who did not allow her to leave. As many as six males took part in the assault, police have said. She was found two days later walking down the street near her home.

The 14-year-old boy was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, manufacture of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, all of which are felonies, police said.

One of the suspects broadcast the assault on Facebook Live, and authorities have said that as many as 40 people saw it. None called police, an abstention that enraged police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

“We’ve seen a couple acts in this city now in the last few months involving social media, and it just disgusts me that people could look at those videos and not pick up the phone and dial 911,” he said at the news conference. “It makes you wonder where are we going, what are we doing as a society?”

Reginald King, a relative of the girl, said a teen alerted him to the assault on Facebook. Chicago activist Andrew Holmes got the video to police, and the girl’s mother was shown screen shots and was able to identify her daughter.

After the girl was found, she was reunited with her mother and taken to a hospital, where she was examined for injuries, a family member later told the Tribune.

As news of the attack spread, people began ringing the family’s doorbell and coming around the house in a menacing way, the girl’s mother has told the Tribune, and police described a campaign of social media bullying against her. The taunts prompted authorities to relocate her family to another home, which police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi described as “a safe place.”

The girl’s mother did not return messages seeking comment on the arrest.

Deenihan said that authorities have looked into possible charges against those who watched the video and bullied the girl, but said that making charges stick appears to be a complicated task.

Guglielmi said Facebook has told authorities it’s not possible to identify who is watching a video on the platform. And Deenihan said the bullying hasn’t risen to the level of criminal conduct.

“We’re going to vet all that out to see if there is a specific possible charge, but right now there isn’t a specific threat made to the victim or her family, nothing anybody could be charged with,” he said.

The attack was at least the fourth Chicago crime caught on Facebook Live since the end of October.

After one of the previous attacks, in which a mentally disabled man was tormented and tortured by a group of people, the company said it does not allow people “to celebrate or glorify crimes” on its network. Facebook took down the video of the girl’s assault after being notified by police.

Johnson said that although the girl was having a difficult time talking to investigators about the assault, he was impressed by her courage.

“While I know the emotional wounds caused by this savagery will take long to heal, I am hoping that her story can be an inspiration to other young women who are victimized by bullying and sexual assault,” he said.

“The young men responsible, they should be ashamed of themselves. They humiliated themselves, they’ve humiliated their families, and now they’re going to be held accountable for what they did.”

Chicago Tribune’s Kim Geiger contributed.

Source : Chicago Tribune

Spanish authorities reveal details of huge black-market weapons cache

37937533_303

Police in Spain have released photos of automatic rifles and other weapons covering a warehouse floor. Authorities fear the trove fed criminal and terrorist organizations in Europe.

Become An E-Commerce Associate

After two months of examination and categorization, Spanish police on Tuesday finally revealed the extent of the massive weapons haul they undertook in January 2017.

According to the published police statement, the cache included 9,000 CETME fully automatic rifles, anti-aircraft guns, 400 shells and grenades, pistols, and revolvers.

Photos published by the police show piles of assault rifles, guns and weapons parts lying in stacks and leaning against the walls of a warehouse.

 

Spanish police originally seized the firearms in a raid undertaken on January 12 and 13 in the northern regions of Catalonia, Cantabria and the Basque country. The operation was initiated after the May, 2014 shooting at the Jewish Museum in Belgium that left four dead and spurred authorities across Europe to crack down on black market weapons.


Five suspects were also detained in the January raids.

Europol and Spanish police cooperated on the operation

Police reported the group bought decommissioned weapons that they then reactivated. The pieces needed for such reactivation were found in the trove.

Alongside the thousands of arms, authorities also discovered material needed to falsify arms documentation and tools required to change the weapons’ identification numbers. Europol, the EU police force that worked alongside Spanish authorities in the operation, believe the illegal firearms were intended for sale in Spain, France and Belgium.

“The seized weapons had an easy journey in the black market and posed a significant risk of being acquired by organized crime groups and terrorists,” Europol said in a statement.

Source :DW

Why Did a Cop Follow a Man Home Before Killing Him With an AR-15?

Video shows why Lt. Daniel Stephenson was justified in shooting Todd Browning, but no one has explained why he was there in the first place.

Authorities in Tennessee won’t explain why a police officer followed a man to his home before he shot him at close range with an assault rifle.

Todd Browning died as a result of the Aug. 19, 2016, shooting, carried out by East Ridge police lieutenant Daniel Stephenson. While dashcam video released this week shows Browning approaching Stephenson with a metal rod before being shot, the district attorney who found the shooting justified hasn’t explained why Stephenson was there in the first place.

Capt. Tim Mullinax of the East Ridge Police Department told The Daily Beast that Stephenson was called to an AutoZone near Browning’s home just before 6 p.m. that day, where Browning was allegedly acting erratic and threatening employees with a knife. After 30 seconds inside the store, Stephenson emerges and appears to be talking to Browning.

As Browning gets in his pickup and drives away, Stephenson can be seen on the dashcam video talking into his radio and calmly walking toward his squad car.

After a three-minute drive, Stephenson arrives at Browning’s home. The cop gets out of his car, opens up the trunk, and can be heard grabbing the AR-15. A little more than a minute after that, Stephenson is seen pointing the assault rifle at Browning, who is off screen.

“You wanna shoot me? Do it!” Browning yells, holding a metal rod that authorities say was a water key.

“Stay there! Stay in the yard!” Stephenson replies.

And now more than six minutes after Stephenson first confronted him, the officer fires five bullets into Stephenson at at almost point-blank range. Four bullets struck him in the chest, one entered his back.

“Lt. Stephenson acted well within the law and, as a result, should not face any charges,” District Attorney Neal Pinkston said in a statement.

What East Ridge police and the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office won’t talk about is what happened inside the AutoZone. The only account of that alleged altercation came from Stephenson’s attorney in September.

Authorities did not answer questions from The Daily Beast regarding the existence of security footage from inside the store.

“Our office has released all the information we have regarding this incident,” district attorney spokeswoman Melydia Clewell said.

In September, Stephenson’s attorney Bryan Hoss told local media that Browning was threatening store employees and Stephenson with a knife inside the AutoZone. As he threatened to kill Stephenson and himself, Browning’s eyes were “bulging out of his head,” Hoss said.

Browning then charged at the cop, according to Hoss’s version of events.

“He very likely could have used deadly force against this guy inside the store,” the attorney told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “He showed some restraint by holstering his weapon.”

On the dashcam video, Stephenson looks incredibly restrained for someone who had just had his life threatened by a knife-wielding lunatic.

When asked why Stephenson appears so calm following such an allegedly violent confrontation, Clewell did not answer.

Todd’s mother, Launa Browning, said the dashcam video doesn’t reflect the descriptions of her son she’s read in media reports.

“I was prepared to see this irate person coming at the officer as he’s been described,” she told The Daily Beast. “I just didn’t see that.”

Where is the security footage? Where are photos of the knife Browning was allegedly wielding?

If any evidence does exist that might answer these questions, the district attorney doesn’t have it, Clewell, the spokesperson, said. Even if the district attorney’s office did have such evidence, Clewell said, the Tennessee Open Records Act “does not require” that it be produced.

And even if such evidence did exist and the district attorney were willing to produce it, the state’s open records act is “written in such a way that any agency can require proof of a valid Tennessee driver’s license” before it could be handed over, Clewell said.

Maybe Browning’s mother, Launa, can take her license down to the sheriff’s office in between trips to Atlanta for glaucoma treatment to try to get more evidence regarding her son’s death.

“I suppose that’s the only thing they have,” she said of the dashcam video.

Both the district attorney’s office and East Ridge police leaned on the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for further evidence and documents related to the shooting. The Hamilton County sheriff’s detective who investigated the shooting—and provided the evidence that led to the district attorney’s decision that Stephenson was justified—could not immediately be reached for comment.

“I am devastated by the way my son had to died,” Launa said by phone on Wednesday. “This whole thing is just a terrible, horrible mishap of justice.”

Source : Daily Beast

House Boy Who Cloned Master’s ATM Card, Remanded in Prison

index

A Lagos, Nigeria Magistrate Court  sitting at Tinubu, Lagos Island, was on Wednesday told how an house  boy cloned his employer’s  Automated Teller  Machine(ATM) Card and used it to purchase good worth thousands of Naira.

According to the  Police prosecutor, Inspector Richard Odigie, the 23 year old  accused cloned Mr. Godwin Okoh’s credit card on November 16 and used it to buy goods worth N 328,000.

Odigie further  said that the accused used the cloned  credit card to pay for products from an online trading establishment, among which were a home theatre, laptop and cellphone .

The prosecutor told the court that the offence contravened Section 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, adding, “Okoh received alert of withdrawal of N187,500, N68,000 and N73,000 respectively on Nov. 16 and 17, and then went to his bank to report the withdrawals. The theft was traced to the accused”.

The accused pleaded not guilty, when his plea was taken, after which the Magistrate, Mrs F.O. Ikobayo, ordered his remand in prison custody, until ruling is  delivered on his bail application.

The case was  adjourned to November 30.

 

Did Albuquerque Police Delete Damning Body Camera Evidence?

A former Albuquerque records supervisor, who was fired by the police department, is claiming the city routinely edits and deletes police body camera footage.

Kelly Weill

Kelly Weill

Only Albuquerque police really know what happened early one April morning in 2014, when officer Jeremy Dear shot and killed 19-year-old Mary Hawkes, a suspected car thief, after a foot chase.

Dear’s body camera was off, he said, and the footage from body cameras of his fellow officers doesn’t give a clear picture of the teenager’s death. While Hawkes’ family accused police of a cover-up, their best evidence—the footage from the other body cameras—is either conspicuously absent or incomplete.

Now, one former police department records keeper is claiming the damaged or missing footage was deliberate, and alleging proof lies in the computer software—called Evidence.com—that the department uses to manage its body cameras.

unnamed

“I have reviewed the lapel camera video [which two officers] provided to APD Forensic after the shooting of Mary Hawkes,” Reynaldo Chavez said in a court statement. “Based on my knowledge of Evidence.com, I can see that [one officer]’s lapel camera video has been altered by changing the gradient of the resolution on the video. I can see as much as the first twenty seconds of [the other officer’s] video has been deleted.”

Chavez’s allegations are included in a sworn affidavit in the family’s civil lawsuit against the police department alleging Hawkes’ wrongful death at the hands of the Albuquerque PD.

In the affidavit, made public by New Mexico In Depth, Chavez accuses his former employer of altering or destroying evidence related to multiple high-profile police shootings, including that of Hawkes.

Before he was fired in 2015—he claimed in a lawsuit that his firing was retaliation for reporting an alleged police plot to destroy evidence—Chavez spent four years handling the Albuquerque Police Department’s public records requests. Chavez and his team were responsible for releasing public records, including police reports, photo evidence, and body camera footage. But in three high-profile cases two years ago, Chavez said his superiors blocked him from releasing evidence.

In a response to Chavez’s lawsuit, the City of Albuquerque said: “There is always more to the story when the City finds it necessary to fire an employee. That is true here, as well. The City takes these claims seriously, especially as they relate to our responsibilities under public record laws. We are committed to those responsibilities and are constantly striving to improve transparency and responsiveness to public requests.”

In addition to Hawkes’ killing, Chavez claimed in his affidavit that evidence was altered or destroyed in the high-profile killings of an alleged probation violator and a mentally ill man, who was killed during a raid on his homeless encampment. All three incidents prompted public backlash, partially due to the lack of body camera evidence to support what police described as justifiable shootings.

Chavez claimed this lack of evidence was deliberate. When he received records requests related to the three controversial killings, members of the city’s legal team ordered him to “deny, withhold, obstruct, conceal or even destroy records,” Chavez alleges in the affidavit.

The City of Albuquerque did not yet respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Chavez’s latest claims. Reached by email, the Albuquerque Police Department said they planned to release a statement on Monday. We will update this article when that statement becomes available. To a local outlet, the police department noted that “the city questions the motives and disputes the accuracy of the information relayed by Mr. Chavez. The city stands prepared to defend against these allegations that records or evidence have been compromised.”

New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act allows members of the public to request police and government records, without stating the purpose of their request. As records supervisor, Chavez was responsible for producing police materials as requested by the public.

In his affidavit, Chavez says the orders to conceal evidence came from the top. He claims he was told by a deputy city attorney that evidence to the three shootings wouldn’t be released, and that the attorney allegedly added, “there are items we will just not release and we will pay the fines or lawsuits.”

Chavez says he was ordered to create barriers to “baffle” journalists and members of the public who pursued the records. His supervisors allegedly encouraged him to invent loopholes under which records could be withheld, or ask journalists for “requirements that were not needed such as case numbers”.

Meanwhile, Chavez claimed, the sought-after evidence was either being edited or eliminated altogether.

“We can make this disappear,” Chavez claims one of his superiors allegedly said of a camera’s memory card after Chavez received a public records request for pictures from that camera. The tiny SD cards were easy to alter, Chavez said.

“I heard from many people working in and around the APD Evidence Unit that SD Cards were easily ‘bleached’ or ‘deleted’ or ‘altered’ by APD personnel in the Forensics Unit,” he wrote in his affidavit.

Chavez says he began to question how evidence could have potentially been altered, especially from officers’ body cameras.

Evidence.com is a subscription service run by stun gun company Taser. The software, which is sold alongside Taser-brand body cameras, allows police departments to upload and store footage. Albuquerque Police use the Taser surveillance program, reportedly alongside police departments in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, and London.

Evidence.com also allows users to edit and delete body camera footage. The tools can theoretically be used to highlight important frames of a video, or blur faces in order to protect identities. But Chavez, who had extensive training with the program, claims he saw the editing software put to more sinister use.

“I was able to see, via the Evidence.com audit trail, that people had in fact deleted and/or altered lapel camera videos,” he alleged in the affidavit, accusing detectives of training officers, particularly “those in the Forensics Unit and the Major Gangs unit how to edit video, meaning you could delete video and add images and blur video and/or corrupt video so they were either not usable or altered.”

Chavez claims that officers in these units were allegedly instructed not to file crime reports until after their body camera footage was viewed. If the footage presented the officers in a good light, Chavez said, they could release the film in the name of transparency. If the footage was problematic, they were allegedly encouraged to claim a faulty camera.

In the case of Hawkes, Dear claimed he had shot her in self-defense and that a faulty cable had caused his camera to malfunction—an account that was backed up by other officers on the scene. Dear claimed that a stolen car led to a foot chase at the trailer park where Hawkes lived. Dear said Hawkes pulled a gun on him at short range, giving him no choice but to shoot in self-defense.

But Hawkes’ family is claiming a cover-up in its civil lawsuit against the police department. According to an autopsy, Dear’s three shots entered Hawkes from the side, an indication that she might not have been facing the officer. The gun allegedly found on Hawkes’ body also had no DNA or fingerprint evidence that conclusively tied the teenager to the firearm (a detail which has been confirmed by police).

In addition to the two body camera records that he accused of being edited, Chavez also allegedly found fault with the footage from a third officer on the scene, “I can tell looking at [the] video that it has been altered by using the functionalities within Evidence.com where you can make the slides of the video blurry or unclear,” he said in his affadavit. “I know that these alterations to Taser lapel camera video are possible using Evidence.com and that an audit trail on these videos is also available on Evidence.com.”

Chavez made similar observations about the case of Jeremy Robertson, one of the three police shooting cases for which he alleges he was instructed to suppress public information. Robertson had allegedly violated his probation when police spotted him and took chase in July 2014. Officers shot and killed him, claiming he had pointed a gun at them, although Robertson’s family said he had been shot from behind while climbing a fence.

Chavez said he reviewed surveillance footage from a nearby salon and he claimed that film had also been edited.

“Based on my knowledge of Evidence.com, I can see the salon video has the tell-tale signs that it has been altered and images that had been captured are now deleted,” he claimed in the affidavit. Among those the missing frames was the most important image in Robertson’s case.

“One of the deleted images captured the officers shooting Jeremy Robertson,” Chavez said.

Source : Daily Beast

Philippine Police Killing Spree Demands Accountability

Hundreds Dead in “Anti-Drug Operations” Since July 1

Phelim Kine

Deputy Director, Asia Division

The Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed today at a Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings the shocking human toll inflicted by the police in the “war on drugs” launched by President Rodrigo Duterte after taking office seven weeks ago.

PNP Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa speaks at a Senate hearing investigating drug-related killings in metro Manila, Philippines on August 22, 2016.

Police statistics show that from July 1 to August 19, 2016, police have killed an estimated 712 suspected “drug pushers and users.” That death toll constitutes a more-than-tenfold jump over the 68 such police killings recorded between January 1 and June 15, a period of over five months.

PNP Director-General Ronald dela Rosa was unconcerned by the sharp rise, characterizing the killings as proof of an “uncompromising” police approach to drug crimes. Dela Rosa added that police personnel implicated in unjustified killings of criminal suspects “will be investigated, prosecuted, and accordingly punished,” but made it clear that he will not proactively examine those deaths.

Last month dela Rosa slammed calls for an investigation as “legal harassment,” saying it “dampens the morale” of police officers. Meanwhile, the country’s top prosecutor, Solicitor-General Jose Calida, defended the legality of police killings and suggested that the number of such deaths was “not enough.”

Police statistics attribute an additional 1,072 killings of alleged drug dealers and drug users to unknown vigilantes since July 1. Dela Rosa stated that he did not “condone” extrajudicial killings, but he made no indication that those deaths – more than 20 killings a day between July 1 and August 19 – merited urgent investigation.

These killings suggest Duterte’s aggressive rhetoric advocating violent, extrajudicial solutions to criminality in the Philippines has found a receptive audience. Last month he exhorted Filipinos who knew of any drug addicts to “go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.” This prompted the United Nations Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, to accuse Duterte last week of effectively granting the police and others “a license to kill.”

Duterte is steamrolling the rule of law and its advocates both at home and abroad. He has declared the soaring number of killings of alleged criminal suspects as proof of the “success” of his anti-drug campaign and urged police to “seize the momentum.” He has sought to intimidate domestic critics of that campaign and dismissed international critics as “stupid.” Other countries, including the United States and European Union members, should make it clear to Duterte that inciting such violence is unacceptable and will reap potentially severe diplomatic and economic costs, beyond the human one.

Otherwise, it’s hard to envision when these killings will end.

Source : Human Rights Watch