Updated: July 10, 2019 09:13 AM GMT
Families and friends of victims of drug-related killings in the Philippines hold a gathering in Manila on July 9. (Photo by Jire Carreon)
Families and friends of people killed in the Philippines' war on drugs have joined calls for the United Nations to push for an independent investigation into the country’s human rights situation."An independent probe is urgently needed," said Carmelite priest Gilbert Billena, who coordinates the group Rise Up for Life and Rights.The priest led a Mass in Manila on July 9 "to pray for a positive outcome" in deliberations for a proposed independent investigation by members of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHCR). Amnesty International accused the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte of carrying out a "large-scale murdering enterprise" as a result of the war on drugs.In another report, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project placed the Philippines as the fourth most dangerous place in the world for civilian-targeted violence, behind India, Syria and Yemen."We pray and hope that the 47 member states of the UNHRC will vote in favor of the resolution to establish an independent investigation," said Father Billena.He said that if the resolution is passed, "it will be a strong addition to the growing global voice of concern on the killings and for accountability."
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