Human Rights - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Human Rights

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CHR: Reviving death penalty will lead to cycle of violence in PH

Oct 10, 2019 - 1:00 PM

On the World Day Against the Death Penalty, CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez Dumpit notes the suffering of 'unseen victims' of capital punishment, including the children of people sentenced to death

REVIVAL? The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006. File photo by Joel Nito/AFP

Why climate migration is a human rights concern

Oct 08, 2019 - 10:00 AM

'Adaptation and mitigation are not enough. We need climate justice,' says United Nations special rapporteur Cecilia Jimenez Damary

ANGELINA ECHALAS. The elderly survivor found a temporary shelter in their Barangay Hall in Maynonong, Tiwi, Albay. Photo by Mavic Conde/Rappler

U.N. launches probe into Venezuela rights abuses

Sep 27, 2019 - 6:28 PM

A resolution tabled by more than a dozen countries from Latin America and elsewhere is adopted by the 47-member council with 19 votes in favor, 7 opposed, and 21 abstaining

UN PROBE. A group of lawyers dressed with judicial robes and carrying a Venezuelan national flag protest outside Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice building against the absence of the rule of law in Venezuela at Chacao neighborhood, in Caracas, on September 26, 2019. Photo by Matias Delacroix/AFP

De Lima: U.N. support for rights groups in PH 'indispensable'

Sep 27, 2019 - 4:32 PM

Detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima also thanks United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for speaking out on her 'arbitrary' detention and attacks against human rights defenders in the Philippines

DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS. Rights groups protest violations of human rights seen under the Duterte administration. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Documentary hopes to prevent rewriting of PH drug war killings story

Sep 24, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Malacañang criticizes 'On President's Orders' for being 'overly dramatized' and 'falsely portrays a dangerous Philippines and a murderous government'

PREMIERE. Around 1,000 invited audiences joined in the screening of controversial docufilm, 'On President's Orders' at Active Vista's 7th International Human Rights Film Festival on Friday, September 20. Photo courtesy of Dakila Media

Death penalty for retribution? 'Not all victims want revenge' – CHR

Sep 24, 2019 - 4:30 PM

CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez Dumpit says reviving the death penalty will not deter criminals, and revenge as motivation would only 'perpetuate a culture of violence'

U.N. report on attacks vs PH rights groups is 'shoddy work' – Locsin

Sep 23, 2019 - 9:27 PM

'The UNHRC report reads like it was written by the accusers...Ignore it,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

THREATS. Human rights defenders urge the Philippine government to stop persecuting human rights activists. File photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Locsin says loans, grants from countries hitting PH drug war 'small time'

Sep 21, 2019 - 1:21 PM

(3rd UPDATE) 'We don't need the money,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, following the Palace decision to suspend talks on loans and grants from 18 countries that backed the Iceland resolution

INVESTIGATE. Families of victims of extrajudicial killings hold a protest against killings in the government's campaign against illegal drugs. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Malacañang suspends talks on loans, grants from countries backing U.N. probe into drug war

Sep 21, 2019 - 9:37 AM

(3rd UPDATE) Yet Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo categorically denies President Rodrigo Duterte issued such an order

Condemning the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's admininstration, relatives of victims of extra judicial killings along with human rights groups picketed the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City. Demanding justice for their slain kin amidst the recent adoption of the Iceland resolution at the UNHRC to investigate the human rights violations and drug war related killings in the Philippines. July 17, 2019. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Ghost of Marcos' Martial Law seen under Duterte – rights groups

Sep 21, 2019 - 7:30 AM

(UPDATED) On the 47th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, various groups urge Filipinos to take a stand amid human rights violations under President Rodrigo Duterte

Makabayan lawmakers push higher budget for CHR amid 'climate of injustice'

Sep 18, 2019 - 6:37 PM

'Gusto po sana naming maging priority ng gobyernong ito ang pangangalaga at pagtatanggol sa karapatang pantao,' says Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas

CHR along Commonwealth Ave in Quezon City on Thursday, January 10, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

6 civilians killed in northwest Syria despite truce

Sep 14, 2019 - 4:49 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports regime fire in various parts of southern Idlib, including close to a Turkish military observation post

Locsin forgives Iceland's 'dead resolution' on PH drug war killings

Sep 11, 2019 - 5:27 PM

But Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr maintains he will not allow any foreign observers to enter the Philippines to conduct investigations in line with a report by the UN Human Rights Council

PROBE KILLINGS. Families of victims of extrajudicial killings call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to pursue an investigation into the rising drug war deaths in the Philippines. Photo by Micah Guiao/Rappler

Pakistan calls for U.N. probe of India actions in Kashmir

Sep 10, 2019 - 8:53 PM

'For the last 6 weeks, India has transformed Occupied Jammu and Kashmir into the largest prison on this planet,' says Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

UN PROBE? Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi leaves after addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 10, 2019 in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

When the personal is political: Defending human rights in Thailand

Sep 10, 2019 - 6:00 PM

Angkhana Neelapaijit, the wife of an enforced disappearance victim, receives the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2019 for being a champion of human rights in Thailand

2019 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Angkhana Neelapaijit. September 5, 2019. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

U.N. rights chief slams Venezuela over killings, bid to criminalize NGOs

Sep 09, 2019 - 11:06 PM

Michelle Bachelet details a range of ongoing abuses in Venezuela and once again points a finger at Venezuela's police special forces

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet attends a press conference one year after she took office at the United Nations Offices in Geneva on September 4, 2019. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Bato dela Rosa to CHR: Ask NPAs to release minors since 'mas close kayo'

Sep 09, 2019 - 5:11 PM

Senator Bato dela Rosa says the Commission on Human Rights will be offering 'something new' by helping end the alleged recruitment by the NPA of minors

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa asks questions to the resource person at the hearing of the SOGIE bill on August 20, 2019. Photo by Angie De Silva

CHR's proposed 2020 budget moves to Senate plenary

Sep 09, 2019 - 1:48 PM

Senator Panfilo Lacson asks the Commission on Human Rights to list its priority projects and expenses to see how much can still be augmented to the proposed P819.665 million budget for 2020

CHR along Commonwealth Ave in Quezon City on Thursday, January 10, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

CHR to start inquiry into threats, harassment vs rights defenders

Sep 05, 2019 - 2:10 PM

CHR Commissioner Roberto Cadiz says they note the serious allegations of government attempts to silence and intimidate human rights defenders through various methods, including the use of judicial system

Various groups of militant protesters, on Aug. 1, 2019, troop to the DOJ Bldg., in Quezon City, during hearing of a perjury case filed against groups, Karapatan, Religious Missionaries of the Phil, and Gabriela by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Instagram a prime target for disinformation in 2020 U.S. elections

Sep 04, 2019 - 6:47 PM

The report presents a number of predictions related to social media-enhanced disinformation running up to the 2020 US elections

China says Uighur award nomination is 'supporting terrorism'

Aug 30, 2019 - 8:15 AM

The European Court of Human Rights which will give the Vaclav Havel prize shortlists Ilham Tohti, an economics professor whom China sentenced to life in prison in September 2014 after being convicted of separatism

In this file photo, Ilham Tohti pauses before a classroom lecture in Beijing on June 12, 2010. Frederick J Brown/AFP

Hong Kong police ban mass protest over safety fears

Aug 29, 2019 - 1:31 PM

In a letter to the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) on August 29, police say they fear some participants would commit 'violent and destructive acts'

HONG KONG POLICE. Police clear the streets of Tseun Wan in Hong Kong on August 25, 2019. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Journalist killed in Mexico

Aug 25, 2019 - 2:17 PM

Nevith Condes Jaramillo is the 10th journalist killed in Mexico in 2019

ASEAN lawmakers: Free De Lima, drop charges vs opposition

Aug 25, 2019 - 10:26 AM

The ASEAN legislators also lament the sedition charges filed against Vice President Leni Robredo and key opposition figures in the Philippines

'FREE DE LIMA.' Jailed opposition Senator Leila de Lima attends her hearing at the Muntinlupa RTC Branch. File photo courtesy of De Lima's office

Regime forces advance towards key town in northwest Syria

Aug 14, 2019 - 11:31 PM

President Bashar al-Assad's fighters are just a few kilometers away from Khan Sheikhun, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

KEY TOWN. This picture taken on August 5, 2019 shows smoke billowing above buildings during a reported air strike by pro-regime forces on Khan Sheikhun in the south of the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

CHR reminds government: Activism is a right

Aug 14, 2019 - 5:45 PM

Commission on Human Rights spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia says automatically linking expression of dissent and criticism to efforts against the government is a 'very limited view of how a democracy works'

Condemning the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's admininstration, relatives of victims of extra judicial killings along with human rights groups picketed the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City. Demanding justice for their slain kin amidst the recent adoption of the Iceland resolution at the UNHRC to investigate the human rights violations and drug war related killings in the Philippines. July 17, 2019. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Health group warns gov't vs 'knee-jerk' move to lift Dengvaxia ban

Aug 09, 2019 - 4:11 PM

Health Action for Human Rights instead urges the public to take a ‘rational, holistic, and participatory’ approach in addressing the epidemic

DENGUE EPIDEMIC. The Department of Health on Tuesday, August 6, declared a national dengue epidemic. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Chinese human rights lawyer lands in U.S. despite travel ban

Aug 04, 2019 - 7:57 PM

'Merely for following and defending the law in normal practice, I have met naked threats delivered in my face by officials representing the Chinese government,' Chen Jiangang says

Air strikes stop in Syria's Idlib after truce announced

Aug 02, 2019 - 10:57 PM

(UPDATED) The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Syrian and Russia aircraft were no longer seen flying over Idlib following the truce hailed by Moscow

U.S. lawmakers 'deeply troubled' by human rights abuses in PH

Jul 31, 2019 - 9:32 AM

Several members of the US House of Representatives call out the Duterte administration's drug war, crackdown on press freedom, and attacks on rights groups

US LAWMAKERS. In this photo, the US Capitol where lawmakers hold office is shown on the morning of June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. File photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

HRW: Blocking access won't stop U.N. report on PH drug war

Jul 30, 2019 - 7:44 PM

Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson says various governments from around the world concerned about the situation here would 'continue to make representations'

Families of victims of extraudicial killings call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to pursue an investigation into the rising drug war deaths in the Philippines. Photo by Micah Guiao/Rappler

Air strikes kill 15 civilians in northwest Syria

Jul 27, 2019 - 10:54 PM

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 7 children among 11 civilians are killed in Syrian air strikes that targeted two residential buildings

WAR. Members of the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) carry the body of a victim at the site of a reported air strike on the town of Ariha, in the south of Syria's Idlib province on July 27, 2019. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Human Rights Watch slams Sotto's fake news bill

Jul 26, 2019 - 2:33 PM

The punishable acts will still be liable under the current Cybercrime Law, but the meat of the measure are the added powers of the Department of Justice

FAKE NEWS BILL. Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III files Senate Bill No. 9 or the Anti-False Content Bill. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

[OPINION] Rainbow glitters after the storm: The UN Human Rights Council Resolution on SOGI

Jul 25, 2019 - 2:42 PM

As to how long the light will stay will all depend on the sterling commitment of people to fight for the beautiful cause of the rights of LGBTIQ persons

Activists worldwide, including myself, were all holding our breaths while governments deliberated on a crucial UN resolution aimed at advancing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) persons.

'Enough of him’: Groups slam Duterte halfway through his term

Jul 23, 2019 - 9:21 AM

In the same day that President Duterte delivers his 4th State of the Nation Address, critics say they've had enough of his administration

Protesters from the United People's Sona brave the rain as they march along Commonwealth Avenue on July 22, 2019, to stage a program during President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Why Iceland led UN resolution on PH drug war killings

Jul 19, 2019 - 4:10 PM

'For a small and peaceful country like Iceland, international law and the multilateral system is our sword, shield and shelter,' says Iceland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Bersamin: No need for int'l interference in drug war probe

Jul 19, 2019 - 12:47 PM

'I am a member of the judiciary and kailangan ipilit kong sabihin sa ngayon wala naman kaming nakikitang dapat lamang na manghimasok taga-ibang bansa,' said Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin

File photo of Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Duterte admin dismisses red-tagging petition as 'implausible'

Jul 18, 2019 - 5:35 PM

Human rights lawyers are on a slight disadvantage because the Court of Appeals has already denied their request for a protection order

WRIT OF AMPARO. The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) await the decision of the Court of Appeals on their petition for a writ of amparo. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Not yet final: Imee Marcos says UNHRC resolution can 'still be withdrawn'

Jul 18, 2019 - 1:07 PM

Senator Imee Marcos says there is 'no UN rule' that stops UNHRC member-states from changing their original votes on the Iceland-backed resolution

DRUG WAR. Suspected drugs personalities were apprehended by cops while 3 others died after a shootout in Maypajo, Caloocan City on September 30, 2016. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Locsin contradicts Panelo on cutting ties with Iceland

Jul 16, 2019 - 3:19 PM

'I never considered for a second cutting any ties over this small matter,' says Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro 'Teddyboy' Locsin Jr

TIES REMAIN. DFA Secretary Teddyboy Locsin says the Philippines will keep its ties with Iceland and remain in the UN rights body. Photo courtesy of UN

Duterte mulls cutting Iceland ties over U.N. probe – Panelo

Jul 16, 2019 - 1:17 PM

(UPDATED) 'There are only about 2,000 Filipinos there and as far as we know, there are no trade relations between these two countries except maybe fish,' says Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chats with Presidential Chief Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Salvador Panelo at the sidelines of the 85th anniversary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) at The Forum of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Grounds in Pasay City on December 6, 2018. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Sotto 'won't be surprised' if Philippines quits UNHRC over Iceland resolution

Jul 15, 2019 - 7:01 PM

But Senator Panfilo Lacson says the Philippines, being a developing country, still needs 'help from the community of nations'

LEAVE UNHRC? Senate President Vicente Sotto III criticizes the UN rights body for adopting the Iceland resolution despite 'not getting majority. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

What happened when the U.N. reviewed Venezuela's human rights situation?

Jul 15, 2019 - 5:39 PM

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro dismisses the report as being 'fraught with false statements.' Will the same happen to the Philippines?

PH won't provide drug war docs if UNHRC report 'just fishing expedition'

Jul 15, 2019 - 3:25 PM

The Philippine government will only respond to requests for documents if Malacañang 'feels that the question is legitimate'

DRUG WAR. Suspected drugs personalities were apprehended by cops while 3 others died after a shootout in Maypajo, Caloocan City on September 30, 2016. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Philippines, not U.N., should probe drug war – Lacson

Jul 14, 2019 - 4:13 PM

'Para payagan nating mag-imbestiga sila rito, parang sampal naman sa atin ito,' says Senator Panfilo Lacson

PHILIPPINE PROBE. Senator Panfilo Lacson says the Philippines should first probe killings in the drug war before the United Nations. Photo from Senate of the Philippines PRIB

Imee Marcos: PH must cut diplomatic ties with Iceland 'ASAP'

Jul 13, 2019 - 4:35 PM

Marcos, in turn, lashes out at developed countries where abortion is allowed

ICELAND. Senator Imee Marcos says Philippines must cut diplomatic ties with Iceland for leading a resolution that compels the United Nations Human Rights Council to review drug war killings in the country. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

[OPINION] Iceland 1, China 0: The diplomatic significance of the U.N. Human Rights Council vote on the Philippines

Jul 13, 2019 - 11:41 AM

The UNHRC vote was the first great test of Duterte’s diplomatic investment in China, and it proved disastrous: China simply could not deliver the votes

Groups hit PH govt's 'overreaction' to U.N. resolution vs drug war killings

Jul 12, 2019 - 5:53 PM

Human rights groups say the response of the Philippine government is a 'poor display of diplomacy'

Members of the Human rights defenders who lobbied states at the 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council expressd dismay at the poor display of diplomacy by the Philippine government, as the UNHRC voted to adopt Iceland’s resolution to probe the war on drugs in the Philippines at a press conference in Quezon City on July 12, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Meet PH’s new friends: U.N.-member countries that voted vs human rights resolution

Jul 12, 2019 - 2:58 PM

These are governments widely criticized for human rights violations, crackdown on dissent, and the stifling of democracy. Some are headed by leaders who bear similarities with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Malacañang says UNHRC resolution an insult to Filipinos

Jul 12, 2019 - 8:44 AM

The Palace calls the resolution 'grotesquely one-sided' and says President Rodrigo Duterte will decide whether to 'permit' the United Nations to probe drug war killings

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the mass oath taking of newly appointed government officials at the Malacañan Palace on July 8, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO