Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has gained international notoriety for its inordinately harsh penalties, extrajudicial killings, and other atrocious human rights violations. Yet, an equally appalling anti-drug campaign in a Southeast Asian country has gone largely unnoticed, even as it’s causing a potential disaster amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On the first day of 2017, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen launched an anti-drug campaign. This came just a few weeks after a state visit by Duterte, during which the two heads of state agreed to cooperate in solving drug-related problems.
Since then, Cambodian authorities have engaged in a Duterte-esque crusade against drug-related offences, meting out unduly severe punishments to suspects without due process.