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‘Drug War’ Deaths Rise Dramatically as Country Reels from Covid-19

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s bloody “war on drugs” worsened during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to the government’s own statistics. Police killed 50 percent more people between April to July 2020 than they did in the…
Police officers secure the road leading to the House of Representatives where President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27, 2020 in Metro Manila, Philippines.
News

Reinstating Capital Punishment Risks International Condemnation, Sanctions

The plummeting human rights situation in the Philippines got even worse this week as the government began considering bills to reinstate the death penalty. The move by the House Committee on Justice came a week after President Rodrigo Duterte used his…
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a late night live broadcast in Malacanang, Manila, Philippines, April 3, 2020.
News

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
News

Government, Rebel Forces in Negros Should End Unlawful Attacks

Killings in the Philippines’ Negros Oriental province surged over the weekend, with the 14th fatal shooting on Negros island in a week. Media reports said gunmen shot dead Anaciancino Rosalita in a public market in Canlaon City. Local activists…
Supporters shout slogans as they hold paper crosses bearing names of killed people from Negros Oriental province during a rally in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Monday, April 8, 2019.
News

Nod to Due Process Underscores Wider Accountability Deficit in ‘Drug War’

The Philippine National Police (PNP) did something extraordinary this week: It took action to protect the rights of criminal suspects. On Monday, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde declared that the police will stop parading criminal suspects in…
Oscar Albayalde arrives for the National Police chief handover ceremony in Camp Crame, Quezon City, metro Manila, Philippines, April 19, 2018.
News

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
News

Privacy Breach Highlights Discrimination Against People with HIV

Following the arrest of 11 men in a Manila business district hotel room on Tuesday on suspicion of using illegal drugs, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officers unlawfully disclosed that one of the suspects was HIV positive. That…
201711HIV Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operative stand on guard during the destruction of confiscated illegal drugs in Trece Martires town, Cavite city, south of Manila, Philippines on February 16, 2017.
News

Duterte Visit to Japan Should Not Be Business-as-Usual

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s upcoming visit to Japan provides senior Japanese officials a fresh opportunity to end their long silence on the Philippine government’s murderous “war on drugs.” The three-day state visit,…
201710Asia_Philippines_Japan
News

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
News

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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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…