UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng [official profile] condemned [UN News Centre report] remarks made by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte [official website] comparing his war on drugs to the genocide of Jews by Hitler. Duterte addressed comparisons to Hitler and said on Friday he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug dealers in the Philippines. Dieng said these comments are deeply disrespectful and undermine the efforts made to prevent future genocides throughout the world. He also urged Duterte to refrain from using language that creates hostility or encourages acts which would be considered crimes against humanity. On Sunday, Duterte publicly apologized [Reuters report] for his comments.
Duterte took the presidential office in May after promising [WSJ report] the Filipino population that he would aggressively crackdown on corruption and crime. During his campaign, Duterte declared [Guardian report] that 100,000 people would die in his crackdown on crime. Since Duterte has taken office, over 400 suspected drug dealers have been killed and 600,000 have surrendered to the police. Earlier this month, he declared [JURIST report] a “state of lawlessness” in the Philippines, which would allow police and military personnel to frisk individuals and search cars. In August, Duterte named [JURIST report] 150 serving and former state officials connected to the nation’s illegal drug trade and ordered them to either surrender to the authorities or risk being hunted down. Duterte has stated that he disregards criticisms from the UN and human rights groups. Also in August, Duterte threatened to withdraw [JURIST report] the country from the UN following criticisms against his controversial crackdown on the illegal drugs.