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(Jakarta, June 3, 2021) – The harm a palm oil plantation in western Kalimantan, Indonesia, is causing to the surrounding communities and the environment demonstrates the government’s failure to enforce its own policies and laws, Human Rights Watch said in…
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Upsurge in Attacks on Activists, Community Leaders, Rights Defenders

(Manila, January 13, 2021) – The Philippine government’s “drug war” killings intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, as did unnecessary arrests during lockdowns, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Attacks by the police,…
Detainees sleep in an open basketball court inside the Quezon City Jail in Quezon City, Philippines on July 24, 2020. 
News

‘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.
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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
News

Overcrowding, Unsanitary Conditions Threaten Catastrophe

(New York) – Asia’s overcrowded and unsanitary prisons, jails, and detention centers are at grave risk of COVID-19 outbreaks that threaten the physical and mental health of both detainees and staff and the broader population. …
Indonesian prisoners approaching the end of their sentences are released to avoid a coronavirus outbreak in overcrowded prisons in Depok, near Jakarta, Indonesia, April 2, 2020.
News

Young People Locked in Dog Cages, Coffins, Stripped Naked

Philippine authorities have subjected children to absurdly abusive treatment for violating curfew and quarantines rules imposed to limit exposure to COVID-19. Police and local officials in several parts of the country have mistreated…
A screenshot of an officer with five youths locked inside a dog cage after breaking curfew in Laguna province, the Philippines on March 20, 2020. © 2020 Facebook
News

COVID-19 Response Should Respect Detainee Rights

(Manila) – Philippine authorities should respect the basic rights of people detained for violating the government’s COVID-19 regulations, Human Rights Watch said today. Police and local officials have confined those arrested to dog cages and forced…
A screenshot of an officer with five youths locked inside a dog cage after breaking curfew in Laguna province, the Philippines on March 20, 2020. © 2020 Facebook
News

Upsurge in Attacks on Activists, Environmentalists

(Manila) – The Philippine government’s murderous “war on drugs” remained the Philippines’ gravest human rights concern in 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2020. Security forces were also implicated in often deadly…
Veiled protesters, mostly relatives of victims of alleged extra-judicial killings, display placards during a protest outside the Philippine military and police camps
Video
The Indonesian government is failing to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples who have lost their traditional forests and livelihoods to oil palm plantations in West Kalimantan and Jambi provinces. Human Rights Watch examines how a patchwork of…
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

Arrests for Peaceful Protest Highlights Police Abuse of Treason Laws

Update: On February 6, 2019, Ruben Saija, a Moluccan political prisoner, was released from Ambon prison after President Joko Widodo issued him a pardon. Five political prisoners remain incarcerated in Ambon prison.  (Jakarta…
Yanto Awerkion (far left) detained in the Timika police station in September 2017 for his role in organizing a petition calling on the UN to organize a referendum in Papua.
News

Lowering Age of Criminal Responsibility Would Impede Rehabilitation

(New York) – Philippine legislators should reject a draft law to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to 12, Human Rights Watch said today. Both houses of the Philippine Congress appear set to approve a bill that would incarcerate greater…
In this photo taken last year in Manila, children are detained in a Bahay Pagasa detention center, the same type of facility the Philippine government plans to use  under a proposed new law that would lower the age of criminal responsibility. (c) 2018 Car
News

Religious, Gender Minorities Face Persistent Harassment

(Jakarta) – Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration took few steps in 2018 to protect the rights of marginalized groups in Indonesia, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. In August 2018, Jokowi…
People take part in the 2018 Women's March rally in Jakarta on March 3, 2018. The participants were demonstrating for equal rights and an end to violence against women.
News

‘Drug War’ Killings Continue; Attacks on Activists, Journalists Rise

(New York) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration heightened its repression in 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The government’s murderous “war on drugs” expanded to cities outside Manila.…
Activists hold a candle light vigil for victims of the extra judicial killings in the drug war of the government in front of a church in Manila on September 16, 2016
News

Discriminatory Police Raids Violate Rights, Undermine HIV-Prevention Efforts

Indonesian authorities are fueling an HIV epidemic through complicity in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The government’s failure to halt arbitrary and unlawful raids by police and militant…
Police officers guard the entry of the T1 night club in Jakarta on October 9, 2017, after they raided it and arrested 10 people for alleged violations of the anti-pornography law.
News

New Police Campaign Has Nabbed 8,000 Suspects, Many Detained in Overcrowded Jails

  (Manila) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) should immediately end a “crime prevention” campaign that has disproportionately targeted “loiterers” in low-income areas of Manila and other cities, Human Rights Watch said today. Since June…
Detainees sit next to an anti-drug mural of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte inside the Manila City Jail, October 16, 2017.
News

Failing Drug Screening Could Have Deadly Consequences

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs” may soon place thousands of primary school children in harm’s way. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) announced on Friday that it is seeking the…
Mourners watch as Kian delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was shot during anti-drug operations, is buried in Metro Manila, Philippines, August 26, 2017.
News

Catholic Priest, Journalist Are Latest Targets of ‘Riding-in-Tandem’ Killers

On June 11, in the northern Philippine province of Nueva Ecija, Father Richmond Nilo of Zaragosa town was preparing Mass when an unidentified gunman entered the church and killed him. A few days earlier, on June 7, an assailant shot and killed…
A Catholic nun displays a placard as she participates in a procession against plans to reimpose death penalty and intensify drug war during "Walk for Life" in Luneta park, Metro Manila, Philippines February 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco