Duterte included in Amnesty International’s video of ‘blowing’ leaders

May 30, 2019 - 4:29 PM
An Amnesty International activist takes part in a Europe wide flashmob for human rights, ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections in Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2019. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch/TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

President Rodrigo Duterte is included in a global organization’s video of controversial world leaders as part of its anniversary celebration.

Amnesty International shared two videos of world leaders accused of human rights violations. The videos were part of the organizaton 58th year anniversary released on social media.

The group first posted the 30-second video clip on February 28 and captioned it with: “The more you blow, the brighter we burn.”


A month later, the group shared the video again with the caption: “The harder they blow, the brighter we glow. We’re 58 today and still going strong. Happy Birthday to us.”

Duterte was included in both video clips.

Aside from him, other presidents included are US President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hungrarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Erdogan was not shown in the second video.

Happy Birthday to Amnesty Internarional

The harder they blow, the brighter we glow. We're 58 today and still going strong. Happy Birthday to us 🎉

Posted by Amnesty International on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Problematic human rights records

The organization has closely observed Duterte’s performance, specifically his bloody campaign against illegal narcotics, since he won the national elections in 2016.

The local administration’s move to lower the criminal age of responsibility to 12 years old and the withdrawal from the International Criminal Court are among the pressing issues the AI denounced this year.

Excluding Bashar and Kim, the featured leaders were likewise mentioned in Time Magazine’s article titled “The ‘Strongmen Era’ Is Here. Here’s What It Means For You.”

Writer Ian Bremmer described them as “tough-talking populists.”

“These tough-talking populists promise to protect “us” from “them.” Depending on who’s talking, “them” can mean the corrupt elite or the grasping poor; foreigners or members of racial, ethnic or religious minorities. Or disloyal politicians, bureaucrats, bankers or judges. Or lying reporters. Out of this divide, a new archetype of leader has emerged. We’re now in the strongman era,” Bremmer wrote.

What is Amnesty International?

Amnesty International is a “global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.”

The movement started way back in 1961 when a British lawyer named Peter Benenson wrote an article at a newspaper to protest the jailing of two Portuguese students just for raising a toast to freedom.

His story got reprinted in newspapers in the world and inspired the establishment of an international body that fights for human rights.

AI now caters to more than 70 countries with regional offices in cities in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

“Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the world’s people, will our work be done,” Benenson said.