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Closing ABS-CBN Would Degrade Philippines Press Freedom

President Rodrigo Duterte ramped up his attack on the Philippine media, vowing to block the renewal of ABS-CBN, the country’s largest and most influential broadcast network. “Your franchise will end next year,” the president said on Tuesday. “If…
Journalists and supporters, wearing black, display their messages during a protest against the recent Securities and Exchange Commission's revocation of the registration of Rappler, an online news outfit, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, northeast of Manila, Philip
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Dela Rosa Already Linked to Alleged Crimes Against Humanity

The Philippines’ new Bureau of Corrections Director Ronald Dela Rosa has a killer attitude toward his new job. Literally. Dela Rosa, who retired last month as director general of the Philippine National Police,…
Ronald Dela Rosa talks to President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacanang presidential palace in metro Manila, Philippines, January 19, 2017.
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Legal Restrictions, Intimidation Seek to Suppress Criticism

Filipino journalists will spend World Press Freedom Day on May 3 under government attack. New draft regulations issued by the Philippine House of Representatives would allow Congress to ban reporters who “besmirch” the reputation of lawmakers from…
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the resident Filipino community at a convention hall in Singapore, April 28, 2018. REUTERS/Feline Lim
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How Everyone Can Address Such Threats, Help Protect Activists

Over the past week, two human rights colleagues of mine received rape and death threats over social media. One, who works with refugees, was sent a Facebook message saying, “I am gonna rape you to death fuckin darkies lover fucking traitor!” The other,…
Screengrabs of social media threats sent to activists
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Summary Killing Fears Prompt Criminal Suspects to Seek ‘Safety’ in Jail

It’s an image straight out of Dante’s “Purgatory”: hundreds of half-naked men sprawled on the pavement in the sweltering heat, desperately trying to sleep amid the cramped chaos. But this is no etching of a medieval horror scene. It’s an actual snapshot…
Inmates sleep on the ground of an open basketball court inside the Quezon City jail at night in Manila, Philippine, July 19, 2016.
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…