World Report 2012

Events of 2011

This 22nd annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2011. It reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff has undertaken during the year, often in close partnership with domestic human rights activists.

The introductory essay examines the Arab Spring, which has created an extraordinary opportunity for change. The global community has a responsibility to help the long suppressed people of the region seize control of their destiny from often-brutal authoritarian rulers. Standing firmly with people as they demand their legitimate rights is the best way to stop the bloodshed, while principled insistence on respect for rights is the best way to help these popular movements avoid intolerance, lawlessness, and summary revenge once in power.

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  1. “License to Kill”

    Philippine Police Killings in Duterte’s “War on Drugs”

    The report, “‘License to Kill’: Philippine Police Killings in Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs,’” found that the Philippine National Police have repeatedly carried out extrajudicial killings of drug suspects, and then falsely claimed self-defense. They plant guns, spent ammunition, and drug packets on their victims’ bodies to implicate them in drug activities. Masked gunmen taking part in killings appeared to be working closely with the police, casting doubt on government claims that the majority of killings have been committed by vigilantes or rival drug gangs. In several instances that Human Rights Watch investigated, suspects in police custody were later found dead and classified by police as “found bodies” or “deaths under investigation.” No one has been meaningfully investigated, let alone prosecuted, for any of the “drug war” killings.

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