Human Rights Watch: No ‘red carpet’ for Duterte

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 2) — Accountability for the alleged extrajudicial killings, not the red carpet, said a human rights watchdog on U.S. President Donald Trump's invitation for President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House.

Instead of "(rolling) out the red carpet for official state visits," countries with close bilateral ties to the Philippines "have an obligation to urge accountability for the victims of Duterte's abusive drug war," said Human Rights Watch (HRW) Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine.

The statement came following the White House's statement on Sunday that Trump extended an invitation to Duterte to visit the U.S. at an unspecified time. The two leaders also discussed the tension in the Korean peninsula and Duterte's war on drugs in a "very friendly" phone call on Saturday on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations here.

HRW has long criticized the administration's war on drugs. Duterte is "pursuing a murderous war against the poor that has resulted in the brutally violent deaths of thousands of Filipinos," Kine claimed in his latest statement.

The Philippine government has reiterated that the killings that have happened since the anti-drugs campaign was launched are not state-sanctioned.