Philippines’ Duterte tells UN expert to ‘go to hell’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses troops during the 120th anniversary of the Philippine Navy, Tuesday, May 22, 2018 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. (AP)
Updated 03 June 2018
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Philippines’ Duterte tells UN expert to ‘go to hell’

MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday told a United Nations rights expert to “go to hell” over criticism of the Philippine leader for threatening the country’s top judge.
Duterte’s latest profanity-laced diatribe came after Diego Garcia-Sayan, the UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said the president’s statements against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno were a “vicious attack” on the judiciary.
Sereno’s colleagues voted to remove her from office last month, shortly after Duterte openly called her his “enemy” and demanded her swift ouster.
“Tell him (Garcia-Sayan) not to interfere with the affairs of my country. He can go to hell,” Duterte told reporters in Manila, insisting he had nothing to do with Sereno’s dismissal.
“He is not a special person and I do not recognize his rapporteur title.”
Duterte, 73, has lashed out in the past — often using less-than-parliamentary language — at critics of the deadly drug war he launched soon after coming to power in 2016.
Several of his opponents have since been ousted, punished or threatened.
Police say they have killed 4,279 drug suspects in the anti-narcotics campaign but rights groups believe the actual number is three times higher.
Sereno was one of the few remaining high-profile critics of the crackdown at the time of her ouster.
The UN’s Garcia-Sayan said Friday that Duterte’s public threats against Sereno appeared to have had a “chilling effect” on her colleagues in the judiciary.
“The use of such derogatory language... sends a clear message to all judges of the Philippines: in the so-called ‘war on drugs’, you’re either with me or against me,” Garcia-Sayan said.


‘New Zealand is unbreakable’— Al Noor mosque imam

Updated 12 min 3 sec ago
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‘New Zealand is unbreakable’— Al Noor mosque imam

  • Imam says the “evil ideology of white supremacy” is a threat to mankind globally
  • Tens of thousands of people attended the Jummah prayer in a show of solidarity with the 50 victims of the shootings at two mosques in the city

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: The Imam of Masjid Al Noor has led the first Jummah prayer in Christchurch since the mosque shootings last Friday.
The Friday Prayer was held at Hagley Park, directly across the road and about 100 meters from the mosque where a terrorist killed 42 worshippers.
Tens of thousands of people attended the Jummah prayer in a show of solidarity with the 50 victims of the shootings at two mosques in the city exactly a week ago.
Imam Fouda, who survived the attack at Al Noor mosque, faced the enormous crowd today, a sharp breeze carrying his words of prayer across the green park landscape.
“Last Friday, I stood in this mosque behind us and saw the hatred and rage in the eyes of a terrorist, who killed and martyred 50 innocent people, wounded 42 and broke the hearts of millions around the world. Today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love and compassion,” Fouda said.
“The terrorist tried to tear us apart with evil, but New Zealand is unbreakable.”
Fouda warned against the “evil ideology of white supremacy” saying it was a threat to man-kind globally.
“Islamophobia kills. Islamophobia is real. It’s a targeted campaign to influence people to dehumanize and irrationally fear Muslims.”
He called on governments and leaders around the world to bring an end to hate speech and the politics of fear.
Fouda said the world should look to New Zealand as an example of how to respond to right-wing extremism and terrorist attacks.
“The world can see in us an example of love and unity. We are broken-hearted but we are not broken. We are alive. We are together. We are determined to not let anyone divide us.”
Fouda thanked the public, the police and not least, the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
“Thank you for your tears. Thank you for your haka. Thank you for your flowers. Thank you for your love and compassion. To our prime minster, thank you. Thank you for your leadership. It has been a lesson for the world’s leaders. Thank you for honoring us with a simple scarf,” he said.
The imam’s words were punctuated throughout by spontaneous applause from the large crowd.