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‘Knock and Plead’ Strategy Puts Lives at Grave Risk

The authorities in the Cordillera region of the northern Philippines have adopted a counterinsurgency strategy drawn from methods used in President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs.”  Known as tokhang, a Visayan word meaning “to knock…
A woman carries a slogan condemning government attacks on activists at a rally to mark International Women's Day, Manila, Philippines on March 8, 2021.
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Duterte Doubles Down on Brutal Policy, Imperiling UN Program

The Philippine government has extolled a new United Nations program as a clear indication of its commitment to human rights – a spin that flies in the face of the bloody rights catastrophe that is the government’s “war on drugs.” On July 24, Manila…
Families of victims of alleged extrajudicial killings in the so-called "war on drugs" with portraits of their slain relatives on July 9, 2019, in Manila, Philippines.
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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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UN Human Rights Council Should Launch Own Investigation

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s chilling promise to “drug pushers, holdup men, and do-nothings, you better get out […] because I’ll kill you” may finally come back to haunt him. Today the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou…
Protesters hold up pictures of victims of extrajudicial killings during Human Rights Day protests in Manila
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Case Underscores Law Enforcement Failure to Use Body Cameras

The killing on Monday of a woman allegedly by a drunken, off-duty police officer has once again put the spotlight on abusive police conduct in the Philippines. The fatal shooting in Quezon City of Lilybeth Valdez, a 52-year-old mother, was caught on…
Veiled protesters, mostly relatives of victims of alleged extrajudicial killings by the police
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To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
News

General Eleazar Opens ‘Drug War’ Case Files to Investigators

Two recent developments signal possible improvement in the conduct of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which has been deeply implicated in President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly “war on drugs” and other abuses. One was the announcement Monday by…
Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar
News

This Earth Day, Eyes on 33 Governments Accused of Violating Child Rights

Increased heat, more frequent forest fires, and other extreme weather events fueled by climate change are already harming children in Europe. Unless governments take urgent action, the situation will only get worse.   This is the message from…
Portugal Wild Fires
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61 Lawyers Murdered During Duterte Administration

More lawyers have been killed in the five years since President Rodrigo Duterte took office than under any other government in Philippine history. Data collated by the news website Rappler found that 110 lawyers were killed from 1972 to the…
Protesters hold signs during a rally in front of a giant banner that reads, "Stop The Killings."
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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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Court Recognizes Urgency of Climate Crisis

Increased heat, more frequent forest fires, and other extreme weather events fueled by climate change are already harming children in Europe today and governments are not doing enough to cut emissions and prevent catastrophic impacts on children’s…
Portugal Wild Fires
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Stunning Admission Highlights Need for UN Inquiry

(Geneva) – The Philippine Department of Justice admitted police culpability in thousands of “drug war” killings, Human Rights Watch said today. The surprising admission provides further reason for the United Nations Human Rights Council, meeting in…
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Senator Leila de Lima Faces Politically Motivated Charges

(Manila) – Philippine authorities should drop all charges and release Senator Leila de Lima, who has been in police detention since February 24, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. A Muntinlupa City court acquitted her of one of three charges against…
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Police Accuse Tribal School of Training Child Combatants

On Monday, police in the central Philippine city of Cebu raided a temporary school for displaced Indigenous children and detained 26 people, including 19 children. Police allege the school was training children as “armed combatants” for the communist…
Arrested teachers and adult Indigenous students confer with their lawyer while detained in a Cebu City jail. 
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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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Long Overdue Investigation of Deadly Practice

The Armed Forces of the Philippines surprisingly announced this week that it was investigating Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. after he accused a journalist of “aiding terrorists by spreading lies.” The military’s provost marshal was tapped to lead the…
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr.
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Germany's six-month EU presidency ended on a low note for rule of law in the bloc. Can we hope that Portugal's half year at the helm will be any better? Portugal just took over rotating presidency of the EU, and it’s encouraging to see that the…
Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa at a press conference at the Belem Cultural Center in Lisbon, Friday, January 15, 2021.