Duterte calls UN rights chief ‘empty-headed’

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Reuters

MANILA (AFP) – President Rodrigo Duterte has launched a foul-mouthed attack on the UN human rights chief, calling him “empty-headed” in a row over international criticism of the Philippine leader’s deadly drug war.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, had last month said Mr Duterte needed “psychiatric evaluation” and that his verbal attacks on a UN rapporteur who condemned his anti-drug crackdown could not go unanswered.

“Hey son of a whore, you commissioner, I need to go to a psychiatrist?” asked Mr Duterte in a speech late Tuesday.

“The psychiatrist told me: ‘You are okay, mayor. You are just fond of cursing,’” Mr Duterte said, referring to his former title.

The Philippine leader added he had been advised to refrain from commenting on the remarks of Mr Zeid, a Jordanian prince, but he wanted to “seek revenge”.

“Look, you have a big head but it’s empty. There is no grey matter between your ears. It’s hollow. It’s empty. It cannot even sustain a nutrient for your hair to grow because his hair here is gone,” Mr Duterte said as he touched his head.

Mr Duterte, 73, has launched curse-laden tirades on world leaders, including former US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis, as well as critics of his anti-crime crackdown.

Mr Duterte won a presidential election in mid-2016 after promising to eradicate drugs in society within six months by killing tens of thousands of users and dealers.

Philippine police say they have killed roughly 4,100 suspects who fought back during arrest, but rights groups allege the actual number is three times higher and accuse the authorities of murder.

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