Human rights groups ask Apple to remove drug war apps from AppStore

Image capture from AppStore
  • NGOs call on Apple, Inc. to remove from the AppStore games that promotes the drug war
  • Several games featured President Rodrigo Duterte in a violent manner
  • 131 human rights organizations have signed the petition

Some 131 non-governmental organizations urged tech giant Apple, Inc. to remove games from its AppStore that promotes President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs.

Several games such as “Duterte Knows Kung Fu: Pinoy Crime Fighter”, “Tsip Bato” and “Duterte vs Zombies” can be found in the AppStore.

The human rights groups sent an open letter to Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook to call for the removal of these games.

“These games valorize and normalize the emerging tyranny of Duterte’s presidency and his government’s disregard for human rights principles,” ABS-CBN quoted the letter sent through the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD).

“In virtual reality these games may seem harmless and fun, but when they are placed within the context of existing realities, of real murders of people and the impunity of law enforcement, then these games become offensive and distasteful,” the petition also said.

Image capture from AppStore
Image capture from AppStore
Image capture from AppStore
Image capture from AppStore

According to another story posted by CNN Philippines, advocates from the Philippines, Australia, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Italy, Pakistan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United State and Uganda are among those who signed the petition.

The groups also cited that these games violates the company’s App Store Review Guidelines.

“As organizations and networks representing these communities, we find these depictions and promotions extremely shocking, especially given their divergence from Apple’s strict guidelines that pertain to your apps,” the letter said.

The anti-drug campaign of the Duterte administration has been the most controversial aspect of his reign. Since the war started last year, the police has recorded around 4,000 deaths in police operations.

But estimates of independent organizations reach up to 13,000 deaths, CNN Philippines noted.