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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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‘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.
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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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UK Program Behind the Guide Needs Better Strategy to End Rape During Wartime

The UK government signaled this week that it wants to reignite its initiative designed to end rape during war. As such, members of the initiative and their partners are seeking input for a guide on interviewing victims of conflict-related sexual violence…
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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
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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
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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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Home Office Memo Ignores Suffering of Trafficking Survivors

This week, the United Kingdom Home Office, the country’s interior ministry, came under heavy criticism from the Nigerian anti-trafficking agency and UK politicians, human rights lawyers, and nongovernmental groups for claiming Nigerian women and girls…
Nigerian teenagers and young women selling sex in Italy
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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

Rugby Clubs Set Good Example, But Legal Reform Needed

An unlikely source took a stance on respect for women: professional rugby. Two Northern Ireland players had their contracts revoked following their widely publicized rape prosecution. Both players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart…
A rally held in support of the woman at the centre of the Belfast rape trial in which all four defendants including Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of all charges, Belfast, March 31, 2018.
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John Worboys Case Should Make Ministers Abandon Plans to Scrap the Act

This week’s landmark judgement by the UK Supreme Court against the London Metropolitan Police for failing adequately to investigate the John Worboys case may bring some belated relief to women he drugged and raped. The Court’…
A London black cab taxi drives past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in late afternoon sunlight in London, Britain, November 10, 2016.
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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.
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Exhorts Philippine Soldiers to Shoot Female Rebels in their Vaginas

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte turned up his incendiary rhetoric against the communist insurgency, declaring last week that he would pay members of indigenous communities 20,000 pesos (US$380) for each rebel they killed. …
New People’s Army rebels sing during an anniversary celebration in Surigao del Sur province in the southern Philippines, December 2010.
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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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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.