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Bill Would Lower Age of Criminal Responsibility from 15 to 9

The Philippine government is one step closer to prosecuting young children as adults, a key plank in President Rodrigo Duterte’s abuse-ridden anti-crime campaign. On Monday, a congressional committee approved a bill that…
Detainees sit next to an anti-drug mural of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte inside the Manila City Jail, October 16, 2017.
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Use of Martial Law Raises Fears of Mistreatment

(New York) – Thai authorities should release or charge with a credible offense an ethnic Malay Muslim human rights activist who has been detained in the deep south, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities arrested Burhan Buraheng of the human rights…
Human rights activist Burhan Buraheng has been arbitrarily detained without charge in a military camp in Thailand’s Pattani province since August 1, 2018.
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2 New Summary Killings Heighten Urgency of UN Inquiry

(New York) – The apparent extrajudicial executions by Philippine police of two children over a three-day period underscores the need for a United Nations inquiry into President Rodrigo Duterte’s abusive “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch…
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Ill-Treatment, Unfair Trial for Those Sought by Turkey Over Alleged Gulenist Links

(New York) – Burmese authorities have forced back Turkish asylum seeker, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen via Thailand, putting him at risk of serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 24, 2017, Burmese officials…
Burma/Thailand: Deported Turkish Man at Risk PHOTO
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Some rare good news for human rights in the Philippines: Lawmakers have decided against a proposed change to the juvenile justice law that would have allowed 9-year-old children to be prosecuted and imprisoned. The House…
A child peers from inside a makeshift house with tin walls in Tacloban, Philippines, January 15, 2015.
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Boy and Three Other Youths Accused of Burning King’s Portrait

Update: On the morning of May 24, 2017 the Thai authorities transferred the four youth from military custody in Bangkok to the Corrections Department’s remand facility in Khon Kaen province for pre-trial detention. They should be given immediate…
Thailand: Army Secretly Detains 14-Year-Old PHOTO
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Investigate and Shutter Unofficial Police Lock-Up Cells

(New York) – The Philippine government should immediately release the alleged drug suspects unlawfully detained in a Manila police station “secret jail,” and ensure their protection after release, Human Right Watch said today. The…
Philippines: Release and Protect “Secret Jail” Detainees PHOTO
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New Bill Could See Children as Young As 9 Imprisoned

November is Children’s Month in the Philippines. But children’s rights have just hit a new low in the country: Congress is set to consider a bill that would lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 years to 9. …
A child peers from inside a makeshift house with tin walls in Tacloban, Philippines, January 15, 2015.
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Oral statement on restriction of freedom of expression

Over the years, Human Rights Watch has documented a tightening of space for civil society, freedom of speech, and peaceful political opposition; that trend has accelerated in recent months. The decision four days ago, on September 24, to sentence in…