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Amnesty protests Israel arms deals with Philippines’ Duterte

Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte.

Amnesty International yesterday has protested against past and current arms deals signed between Israel and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte who is currently visiting the country.

Activists from the rights group gathered outside Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’sresidence in Jerusalem where he met with his Filipino counterpart.

Duterte is suspected of committing heinous crimes against civilians in his country under the pretext of “fighting drugs”.

Amnesty issued a report last year entitled “If you are poor, you get killed” in which it described extra-judicial killings during the Philippine’s alleged “war on drugs”. The organisation said that “thousands of people were killed as a direct result of Duterte’s repressive policies” adding that “a majority of those killed were poor people who use or trade in drugs, who live in crowded areas in cities”.

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“This is a war against the poor, not a war against drugs,” the report said, adding that Duterte’s claims about protecting the lives of future generations are an insult to the families of the victims.

Molly Malakar, programmedirector at Amnesty International Israel,said Duterte uses weapons provided by Israel to liquidate political opponents and poor people who use drugs.

She noted that in February the International Criminal Court prosecutor recommended an investigationbe opened in to Duterte’s actions.

The more Israel’s policies in the occupied Palestinian territories are criticised in international forums, the more it cooperates with criminal regimes in order to achieve diplomatic support

she added.

Duterte who is notorious for likening himself to Nazi- regime leader, Hitler is on a four- day trip to Israel where he is looking to conclude arms deal with Tel Aviv.

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