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Suspecting possible “crimes against humanity” by the Philippine authorities in the context of the drug war, the judges of the International Criminal Court announced on Wednesday that they had authorized the opening of an investigation into these abuses committed in the country.
An investigation is about to be opened. Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Wednesday (September 15th) that they had authorized the opening of an investigation into the murders committed in the Philippines as part of the government’s drug war, constituting possible “crimes against humanity ”.
The Court, founded in 2002 to try the worst atrocities committed in the world, “granted the prosecutor’s request to open an investigation”, despite Manila’s withdrawal from the ICC in 2019 following the opening of a preliminary examination on this violence.
Fatou Bensouda, outgoing ICC prosecutor, announced in June that she had called for an investigation into thousands of murders allegedly committed in the Philippines as part of the government’s declared war on drugs between 2011 and 2019.
Possible crimes against humanity
The international judges concluded that “there is a reasonable basis for opening an investigation”, noting that “the specific element of murder as a crime against humanity (…) is fulfilled,” said the court in a statement. communicated.
The ICC clarified that “the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign cannot be considered a legitimate law enforcement operation, and the killings cannot be seen as legitimate or mere excess.”
The judges stressed that even though the Philippines withdrew from the ICC in 2019, the jurisdiction remains competent to hear crimes allegedly committed on their territory when they were a state party to the Rome Statute, the founding text of the Court. .