Calls for Netflix to cancel series promoting Philippines’ drug killings

Duterte's 'drug war' has killed thousands of poor people.

The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) have called on Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to demand the entertainment company cancel plans to stream a series that promotes the Phlippines’ murderous drug war.

The two human rights groups called on Netflix to immediately cancel plans to stream the drama AMO, which they said actively promotes murder, extrajudicial killings and violence in the “war on drugs” in the Philippines.

The groups said AMO, a drama series by Filipino director Brillante Mendoza, actively promotes the state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings of tens of thousands of Filipinos. Rappier.com said on April 9 that Mendoza is a known supporter of Duterte and has previously said that Amo would depict a “necessary” drug war.

This “war” launched by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has involved the state-endorsed murders of more than 20,000 people — many of them children —  ostensibly suspected of using or selling drugs since 2016.

The two groups noted that Duterte’s war on people who use drugs is often referred to as a “war on the poor”. They said it had brought destitution and anguish to hundreds of thousands of lives, including thousands who are imprisoned under inhumane conditions.

In February, the International Criminal Court launched an initial inquiry into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by Duterte in his brutal anti-drugs crusade.

Luzviminda Siapo, whose 19-year-old son was kidnapped and killed by masked assailants in 2017, is also called for Netflix to cancel the series. The killing came after a neighbour accused him of selling marijuana.

In a Change.org petition, Siapo said  "war on drugs is not the solution”.

“For me, killing is not right,” Siapo wrote. Everyone deserves a chance to live and change his life."

INPUD executive director Judy Chang said “Glorifying President Duterte’s war on drugs ... has real implications for causing further harm to the lives of people who use drugs, their families and communities in the Philippines and beyond.

“The lives of people who use drugs — our lives — are not tools and instruments to be used for political capital nor public entertainment.”

In an open letter, the two groups urged Hastings to:

·         Undertake a formal review of the series AMO in light of the human rights principles and the ongoing crisis in the Philippines; and

·         Immediately cancel the streaming of AMO.

[Sign the Change.org petition.]

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