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Nonoy Espina Was at Forefront of Struggle Against Attacks on the Media

The Philippines lost one of its foremost press freedom fighters Wednesday night. Jose Jaime Espina, popularly known as “Nonoy,” died from liver cancer just days after recovering from Covid-19, his family said. He was 59. A longtime journalist based…
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chairman Nonoy Espina speaks to other journalists and activists as they gather to hold a vigil on the eve of the promulgation of the Maguindanao massacre trial on December 18, 2019 in Manila, Philippines.
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Drop Politically Motivated Charges Against Children

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately and unconditionally drop insulting the monarchy and other politically motivated charges against children who peacefully express their opinions, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 24, 2021, the…
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Pre-trial Detention in Lese Majeste Cases Unwarranted

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately release pro-democracy activists detained on charges of insulting the monarchy, Human Rights Watch said today. Prominent Thammasat University students Parit Chiwarak and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul have…
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UN Rapid Response Team Should Investigate Attacks on Activists

(New York) – Philippine security force raids that killed nine activists on March 7, 2021, highlight the need for United Nations member countries to decisively address the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said…
Protesters display slogans condemning the recent government attacks on activists during a rally near the Malacanang presidential palace on March 8, 2021 in Manila, Philippines.
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Risk of Long Pretrial Detention in Lese Majeste Cases

(New York) – Thailand’s Bangkok Criminal Court has ordered three prominent democracy activists to pretrial detention on charges of insulting the monarchy, Human Rights Watch said today. The order could leave them detained for years until their trial…
Jatupat "Pai" Boonpattararaksa plays his Isan Harp during the demonstration.
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President Says He’ll Block ABS-CBN Even with New Franchise

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared this week that he would not recognize any new license granted by Congress to ABS-CBN, the major television network that the government forced off the air in July 2020. Duterte repeated his claim – already…
Employees light candles outside the headquarters of broadcast network ABS-CBN corp. on May 5, 2020, after the network was ordered to halt operations after its congressional franchise expired, in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines.
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Abusive Use of Lese Majeste Law to Silence Critics

(New York) – The Bangkok Criminal Court has denied bail requests and ordered four prominent democracy activists into pretrial detention on lese majeste charges, Human Rights Watch said today. The order could condemn them to detention for years until…
Activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, left Parit Chiwarak, and Arnon Nampha raise a three-finger salute, a symbol of resistance, as they arrive at Criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.
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Basic Freedoms Stifled Amid Youth-Led Democracy Uprising

(New York, January 13, 2021) – Thailand’s government in 2020 escalated its repression of basic rights in the face of a growing, youth-led democracy movement demanding political and constitutional reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in its World…
A high school student holds up the three-finger salute and gives a speech at a youth-led rally in Chiang Mai, Thailand on August 25, 2020. © 2020 Supitcha Chailom
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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. 
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Unnecessary Use of Water Cannons, Teargas; 55 Reported Injured

(Bangkok) – Thai police unnecessarily used water cannons and teargas against peaceful democracy demonstrators outside the parliament in Bangkok on November 17, 2020, in violation of international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today…
Democracy demonstrators take cover with inflatable ducks and umbrellas as police use water cannons during a protest rally near the parliament in Bangkok, November 17, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn
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End Suppression of Media, Free Expression

(Bangkok) – The Thai government’s shutdown of the outspoken Voice TV channel misuses Thailand’s emergency decree to censor the media, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 20, 2020, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society announced at a…
Voice TV
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Protesters, Journalist Arrested Under Draconian Emergency Decree

(Bangkok) – Thai police unnecessarily used water cannon against peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok on October 16, 2020, in violation of international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities acted under state of…
Pro democracy demonstrators face water canons as police try to clear the protest venue in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
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Drop Charges, Release Democracy Activists

(Bangkok) – The Thai government’s declaration of a state of emergency in Bangkok is a pretext for a crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the declaration of a state of emergency on October 15, 2020, the police have…
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Police Forcibly Disperse Peaceful Protest in Bangkok

(Bangkok) – The Thai authorities should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release democracy activists arrested for peacefully protesting in Bangkok on October 13, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. At approximately 3:40 p.m.,…
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Stop Detaining Democracy Rally Organizers

(New York) – Thai authorities are increasingly arresting pro-democracy leaders in Bangkok for their role in organizing the widening protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally…
Over 10,000 people gathered in the streets around Bangkok's Democracy Monument on August 16, 2020 calling for reform in the Thai government. 
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Duterte Government Should Stop Threatening Activists

A longstanding human rights organization in the Philippines disclosed on Monday that two of its officers, along with several activists working for other groups, had received death threats. In a series of tweets, Karapatan, a left-wing political group…
Zara Alvarez
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Authorities Disregard Own Pledge to Allow Dissent

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release prominent pro-democracy activists arbitrarily detained for their role in peaceful protests, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 19, 2020, Thai police…
Arnon Nampha
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Duterte Administration Had Once ‘Red-Tagged’ Both as Insurgents

On August 17 in the central Philippine island of Negros, unidentified gunmen fatally shot Zara Alvarez, a legal worker for the human rights group Karapatan. Alvarez, 39, was the thirteenth human rights defender killed in the Philippines in the past…
Zara Alvarez
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Parit Chiwarak Arrest Highlights Government’s Failed Pledge to Allow Dissent

(Bangkok) – Thai authorities should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release the prominent Thammasat University student activist Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Human Rights Watch said today. Police are reportedly planning to arrest at least…
Thai student activist Parit Chiwarak was arrested on August 14, 2020, and charged with sedition for his role in a peaceful pro-democracy protest.