Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has raised the rhetoric over his bloody anti-crime war to a new level, comparing it to Hitler and the Holocaust and saying he would be “happy to slaughter” three million addicts.
He issued his latest threat against drug dealers and users early on Friday, by claiming he would be happy to kill millions of addicts, like Hitler murdered Jews.
“Hitler massacred three million Jews … there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he said, referring to a Philippines government estimate of the number of drug addicts in the country.
Historians say six million Jews were killed by the Nazis under Hitler before and during the Second World War.
While Hitler’s victims were innocent people, Mr Duterte said his targets are “all criminals” and that getting rid of them would “finish the (drug) problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition”.
The comparisons with Hitler were criticised by Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch, who said it was baffling that anyone would want to compare themselves to “one of the largest mass murderers in human history”.
He said that in today’s context, Hitler would be accused of crimes against humanity, charges that often end up at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
“Is that what Duterte wants? Does he want to be sent to the international criminal court, because he’s working his way there,” Mr Robertson asked.