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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.
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

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

Cease Arrests, Detention of Outspoken Opposition Activists, Others

(Bangkok) – Cambodian authorities should stop arresting people for expressing concerns about COVID-19’s impact in Cambodia and claiming they are spreading so-called “fake news,” Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has…
A policeman (center) and others wear face masks as a preventive measure against COVID-19, at a market in Phnom Penh on March 17, 2020.
News

‘Double-Tap’ Attack Aimed to Maximize Civilian Casualties

(Bangkok) – Separatist insurgents in Thailand unlawfully targeted civilians in a bomb attack outside the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) in Yala province, Human Rights Watch said today. At least 25 people were injured in a “…
Thai crime scene investigators inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Yala, southern Thailand, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
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
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.
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Survivors of acid violence in Cambodia are unlawfully denied free medical care and face pressure to accept inadequate settlements. The Cambodian government should enforce its laws that require legal, social, and medical support to survivors of acid…
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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

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.
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

Government Executes a Prisoner After 9-Year Moratorium

(New York) – The Thai government should halt further executions and publicly resume its de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. Thai authorities executed a 26-year-old man by lethal injection on June 18,…
Thai authorities executed a 26-year-old man by lethal injection on June 18, 2018, the country’s first execution since August 2009.
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
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
The new Netflix drama series Amo, inspired by the Philippine government’s real-life “war on drugs,” presents a sinister revisionist take on an ongoing human-rights calamity. Amo’s Filipino director, Brillante Mendoza, has described the…
Participants display placards as they participate 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.
News

One Year Since Politically Motivated Jailing of Senator Leila de Lima

(New York) – The Philippine government should drop its politically motivated prosecution of Senator Leila de Lima, an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch said today. February 24, 2018, will…
Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, who is detained on drug charges, gestures a "Laban" (Fight) sign inside a local court where she faces an obstruction of justice complaint in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines March 13, 2017.
News

Government Harassment, Threats Against Rights Defenders

(New York) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “drug war” entered its second year in 2017, resulting in the killing of more than 12,000 drug suspects, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. Duterte has…
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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.