Two drug users in New Zealand fear being killed in the Philippines

4:07 pm on 2 March 2019

Two drug users in New Zealand claimed their lives would be at risk from police and vigilantes if they were returned to the Philippines.

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Photo: 123RF

In separate cases rejected last year, the two men said they were targeted by stalkers or organised gangs under the government's crackdown on drugs.

One man, who used methamphetamine, claimed he was abducted and driven around to identify the homes of two drug dealers, who were later killed.

Another, a long-time cannabis smoker who had also taken methamphetamine, believed he was the target of covert harassment in New Zealand.

He feared he could be identified by anti-government comments he had made on social media.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal ruled his risk of harm from so-called fraternities, to which some of his relatives belonged, was remote and speculative.

In the other case, the tribunal ruled the man's account of being detained had changed and was not credible.

Police said 7000 people were killed in the first six months of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Human rights groups said that underestimated the number of people killed by police and vigilantes without trial.

Immigration New Zealand's Refugee Status Branch said it has had 19 applications for asylum since 2016, when Mr Duterte came to power.

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