United Nations human rights experts slam inclusion of rapporteur in DOJ 'terrorist' list

Philippines to Declare 600 Alleged Communists 'Terrorists'?

The United Nations and the Philippine government have come to blows over the treatment of human rights investigators, with a UN chief saying that the country's president, Rodrigo Duterte, needs a "psychiatric evaluation".

According to Zeid, the Philippine justice ministry charged Carpuz in a regional court last month with terrorism.

"Government accusations that global human rights experts have links to the NPA seek to undermine the valuable work they do to promote accountability for rights abuses", Asia division researcher for HRW Carlos Conde said in a statement.

"These attacks can not go unanswered, the UN Human Rights Council must take a position", Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said, after Duterte's government sought to get a UN investigator, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests declared as "terrorists".

Zeid also referred to a pending case against the UN's special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, Victoria Tauli Carpuz.

"These attacks can not go unanswered, the U.N. Human Rights Council must take a position", Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said at a news conference Friday.

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Karapatan slammed the petition as "an effort to sow fear and panic among Duterte's detractors".

Since he resumed duty in July 2016, Duterte had freed some communist leaders to show his commitment to finding a permanent solution to a five-decade conflict.

Now, branding individuals terrorists will allow the government to able to monitor them more closely, track finances and curb access to resources, among other measures.

He said Tauli-Corpuz and the others were named in the court petition "because of their membership in or association with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army as reported over the years" by the Philippine police and military.

"Instead of attacking the messenger, states and other stakeholders should engage and address the human rights concerns raised by mandate-holders", he said in Geneva.

"Apart from Tauli-Corpuz, Duterte and his supporters have threatened to harm and sought to discredit Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, who has sought to investigate the "drug war" killings", he wrote.

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The petition also included 18 top leaders of the Communist Party as Central Committee members, including founder Jose Maria Sison and peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni, both based in the Netherlands for three decades.

The list also includes former lawmaker Satur Ocampo and consultants of the National Democratic Front in peace talks with the government.

Duterte said the Maoists are security threat as the domestic Islamist militant groups that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Referring specifically to Duterte's comments about Callamard, Zeid said: "This is absolutely disgraceful that the president of a country could speak in this way, using the foulest of language, against a rapporteur that is highly respected".

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witch hunt under the guise of anti-terrorism", he said.

When it comes to disturbing rhetoric, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is no stranger to the practice of stunning his viewers with a diverse range of obscenities.

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More than 40,000 people have been killed in the Maoist rebellion.


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