• Monday, February 11, 2008

    News coverage of fact-finding mission in the Central African Republic

    There have been a number of news stories covering the mission of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, Philip Alston, to the Central African Republic:

    Central African Republic must end impunity for extrajudicial killings – UN expert (UN News Centre, 7 February 2008)

    UN rights envoy sees progress in C. African Republic (Reuters, 8 February 2008)

    Justice internationale: l’étau se resserre contre Bozizé et son neveu Ngaïkosset (Journal l’Indépendant, Centrafrique, 10 février 2008)

    Les militaires mettent les formes (Afrique Centrale, 8 février 2008)

    Les exécutions extrajudiciaires en baisse dans le Nord de la Centrafrique, selon Philip Alston, selon Philip Alston (Agence Centrafrique Presse, 8 février 2008)

    The press statement Alston released at the end of his mission is available below in English and French.

  • Monday, February 11, 2008

    Mayor Duterte responds to Alston’s report

    Following his mission to the Philippines, the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, Philip Alston, concluded that the Mayor Rodrigo Duterte should be stripped of his control over Davao City’s police department due to the death squad that freely operated there.

    According to an article in the newspaper Davao Today, there have been some subsequent developments:

    Duterte said Alston’s report will not deter him in purging the city of criminals. “You might think that the report of the UN rapporteur will discourage or stop us in the fight against drugs, you are dead wrong,” an angry Duterte said, “Davao city will still remain the most dangerous place for drug syndicates and criminals,” he said.

    . . .

    In his report, the UN rapportteur recommended that the National Police Command (Napolcom) should strip Duterte off his power and control over the Philippine National Police (PNP) units in the city, and should hold the national officers accountable for the shutting off of the death squad.

    But it was not until after the killing of radio broadcaster Fernando Lintuan, earlier identified with Duterte’s political rival Prospero Nograles, that the deputy regional director for administration of the police regional office here was suddenly transferred to Camp Crame. Local radio stations also reported on the impending transfer of the city police director Jaime Morente, who was close to Duterte.

    Earlier radio reports said Nograles had ordered the transfer reportedly to give way to an independent investigation of the broadcaster’s death. Nograles, however, denied it.

    The sudden movement in the local police force prompted Duterte to resign as RPOC chair, but Duterte said this does not mean he will lose control in the drive against criminals.

    “Not because I’m no longer the head of the RPOC, I could no longer go after you,” he said, referring to crime syndicates. “I can operate anywhere, even outside the city.”

    He also told the scheduled Congressional inquiry into the killings to “go to hell,” as he ordered no let up in the operations against criminals and crime syndicates. “You can investigate everyday, I don’t give a s–t,” he said.

    “There is still no let up against crime and drugs and that’s the policy,” Duterte said. “Dito sa Davao, you remain a target, an object and subject of assassination.”

    “Wala akong pakialam sa UN report na iyan (I don’t care about the UN report),” he said.

  • Saturday, February 09, 2008

    Special Rapporteur concludes visit to the Central African Republic

    The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, Philip Alston, has concluded his visit to the Central African Republic. At the end of his eight day visit, he released a press statement containing his preliminary findings and recommendations: