The 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, which they said constitute 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 after the opening of a preliminary examination into the violence.
Fatou Bensouda, outgoing ICC prosecutor, announced in June that she had called for an investigation into the thousands of murders allegedly committed in the Philippines as part of the government’s declared war on drugs between 2011 and 2019.
“The murders cannot be considered legitimate”
The international judges concluded that he “There is a reasonable basis for opening an investigation”, noting that “The specific element constituting murder as a crime against humanity (…) is realised “, the court said in a statement.
The ICC clarified that the “So-called campaign of “war on drugs” cannot be regarded as a legitimate operation of maintenance of order, and the killings cannot be considered neither as legitimate nor as mere excesses ”.
The judges stressed that even if the Philippines withdrew from the ICC in 2019, the court 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. .