The mother of an American citizen behind bars in the Philippines on drug charges fears for his life.
Orion Alfonso Hamre Tamayo, 26, was arrested May 20 after going to a local customs office to collect a parcel. That parcel, whose sender Tamayo says he doesn't know, contained 30 vials of liquid THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana.
The government of President Rodrigo Duterte takes a hard-line approach toward drugs. According to official figures, more than 4,900 suspected drug dealers and users were killed in police operations between June 2016 and last September. The country's prisons are also overcrowded with conditions often being poor.
Raymund Narag spent nearly seven years inside a Filipino prison after being wrongly accused of murder following a 1995 brawl between fraternities at the University of the Philippines. He was eventually acquitted.
Narag, 44, is now an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University.
He said the average inmate in the Philippines spends 592 days in prison before getting a trial.
“Some people wait 16 years for a trial,” added Narag, who is working to reform the country's prison system.
Jareen Imam is director of Social Newsgathering for NBC News, leading a team of reporters to find, verify and report on trending and breaking news stories.