Rodrigo Duterte had repeatedly given statements condoning violence against criminals. Recently he urged the general population to murder drug dealers. Is this an international crime?

From Wikipedia:

Unlike war crimes, crimes against humanity can be committed during peace or war. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder, massacres, dehumanization, extermination, human experimentation, extrajudicial punishments, death squads, forced disappearances, military use of children, kidnappings, unjust imprisonment, slavery, cannibalism, torture, rape, and political or racial repression may reach the threshold of crimes against humanity if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice.

  • In any way, it shows a total disregard for the Rule of Law. And the lack of Rule of Law is almost totally incompatible with democracy (someone is too critic with the government? Just shot him and plant some drug in his body)
    – SJuan76
    Jul 1, 2016 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


That's doubtful. The definition given in the Wikipedia article you quote is pretty good but you have to take all its elements into account (my emphasis):

Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population or an identifiable part of a population.

For example, the Charter of the Nuremberg tribunal includes this definition:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

Condoning violence is not enough, you have to actually carry out one of these acts and systematically target an entire population or a specific group (like Jews for the Nazis). Basically, the idea is to avoid letting people get away with something that does not quite rise to the level of a genocide.

Quite apart from all that, this is unlikely to have any practical relevance, unless some future government of the Philippines finds it expedient to deliver him to the ICC.

  • 1
    The question mixes drug dealers and drug addicts. While I agree it would be hard to justify such a violence against drug dealers as "crime agains humanity", I am not so sure about targetting drug addicts, given the tendency to consider them more as ill people than criminals.
    – SJuan76
    Jul 1, 2016 at 15:11
  • @SJuan76 Good point.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 1, 2016 at 15:12

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