ICC to open probes in Philippines, Venezuela

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced yesterday that she is opening preliminary probes into alleged crimes by police and security forces in the Philippines and Venezuela.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the probe on Venezuela will look at allegations that since April 2017 government forces “frequently used excessive force to disperse and put down demonstrations,” and abused some opposition members in detention.

The Philippines probe will focus on allegations since July 2016 that thousands of people have been killed in the government’s war on drugs.

“While some of such killings have reportedly occurred in the context of clashes between or within gangs, it is alleged that many of the reported incidents involved extra-judicial killings in the course of police anti-drug operations,” Bensouda said.

A Filipino lawyer last year presented documents to the court which he said contained evidence of the alleged involvement of President Rodrigo Duterte in the killings of suspected drug dealers and other crime suspects.

“It is a case for crimes against humanity against President Rodrigo Duterte and senior officials in his government,” lawyer Jude Sabio told The Associated Press outside the court after presenting to prosecutors a 77-page file outlining the allegations.

Bensouda said in 2016 she was deeply concerned about the reports of the killings, and that statements by “high officials” in the Philippines “seem to condone such killings.”AP

Categories Asia-Pacific