Cambodia’s war on drugs, launched at the same time as Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s similar policy, has received considerably less press attention. It is sometimes called the region’s ‘forgotten’ war on drugs. However, Amnesty International (AI)this week shone fresh light onto the campaign with a damning report. Here’s how the region’s media covered the story.
Alleging “systematic human rights abuses”, AI called Cambodia’s war on drugs an “unmitigated disaster” which had presented opportunities for “corrupt and poorly-paid officials”. Unsurprisingly, its report said the campaign was failing to meet its objectives.
“The Cambodian government’s three-year long ‘war on drugs’ campaign has fuelled a rising tide of human rights abuses, dangerously overfilled detention facilities and led to an alarming public health situation—even more so as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds—while failing in its stated objective of curbing drug use,” the report said.