Human rights group urges President Duterte to stop killings

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rody Duterte's anti-illegal drugs and criminality campaign is worsening violence and lawlessness in the country, the Citizen's Council on Human Rights (CCHR) said on Thursday.

The group urged the government to stop the killing of suspected drug criminals, as this deprives them of their right to due process and a fair trial.

From May 10 to July 13, more than 250 people allegedly involved in crime and illegal drugs have been killed.

Read: Malacañang claims success in war on drugs

"There is irony in the Duterte campaign against criminality and lawlessness. The campaign has resulted to people's fear," said lawyer Virgie Suarez, spokesperson of the Kilusan Para sa Demokrasya.

The CCHR said the government should investigate and prosecute authorities who violate human rights while carrying out the President's campaign against drugs and criminality.

"Duguan ang kamay ng ating presidente [The President has blood on his hands]," said Jean Enriquez of the World March of Women. She said the President himself said he would reward policemen who would kill drug criminals.

Related: Duterte offers counter-bounty vs. crime lords

In his June 30 inaugural speech, President Duterte asked Congress and the Comission on Human Rights (CHR) "to allow us a level of governance that is consistent to our mandate."

He said as a lawyer and a former prosecutor, he knew the limits of his authority as president, as well as what was permitted by law.

"My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising," the President said.

Dehumanizing suspects

Human rights advocates also urged the President to stop local governments and law enforcement units from using dehumanizing methods in dealing with suspects, like the "walk of shame" which started in Batangas.

Watch: Local officials with Duterte brand of justice

They also called for reforms in the country's criminal justice system instead of reinstating the death penalty.

The group believes drug users deserve a second chance — a sentiment shared by the Office of the United Nations (U.N.) High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The U.N. believes "people do not lose their human rights because they use drugs."

The World Health Organization is also in favor of decriminalizing drug use and reducing incarceration.

"Under our law, drug addicts are considered victims, not criminals and they all deserve proper rehabilitation," Suarez said.

Read: Robredo urges authorities to probe drug-related extrajudicial killings

CHR investigations

The CHR is presently conducting its own investigation following the rise in extrajudicial killings.

"Based on our investigation, if people are found to have violated human rights, we can make recommendations to the proper authorities to file charges against these people," CHR Commissioner Gwen Pimentel-Gana said.

CHR has ordered members of its task force on extrajudicial killings to check the number of victims of such deaths by the end of the week.

Watch: Groups: Spate of drug-related killings alarming