Human rights - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Human rights

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Deadly new air strikes as Syria army battles jihadists

May 23, 2019 - 8:08 PM

The United Nations has warned that an all-out offensive on the Idlib region would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe for its nearly 3 million residents

AIR STRIKES. This picture taken on May 23, 2019, shows smoke plumes rising following reported Syrian government forces' bombardment on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province. Photo by Anas Al-dyab/AFP

Groups fear 'more challenging days' for human rights with new Senate

May 22, 2019 - 6:40 PM

Advocate Rose Trajano says it is high time for local government units to introduce and promote ordinances that focus on defending human rights

Long-time indigenous peoples' rights activist wins international award

May 20, 2019 - 6:07 PM

Joanna Cariño, a long-time champion for indigenous peoples' rights, is one of the many activists and human rights workers the Philippine government wants to tag as terrorists

Duterte gov't says human rights lawyers don't need SC protection order

May 09, 2019 - 2:28 PM

Solicitor General Jose Calida also tells the Supreme Court that President Rodrigo Duterte cannot be impleaded in the writ of amparo

PROTECTIVE WRITS. The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) run to the Supreme Court on April 15, 2019, to ask for a Writ of Amparo and a Writ of Habeas Data citing threats from the military. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

Ethiopian clothes makers worst paid in the world – study

May 08, 2019 - 12:06 AM

The study took place in the Hawassa Industrial Park, the flagship of Ethiopia's manufacturing drive and one of 5 hubs inaugurated by the government since 2014

CLOTHES MAKERS. This file photo shows hardworking people in the textile industry in Ethiopia. File photo by Pinar Alver/Shutterstock.com

Escalation in Syria's Idlib rattles months-old truce

May 07, 2019 - 11:30 PM

The region of some 3 million people is under the control of a former Al-Qaeda affiliate, in one of the last parts of Syria which President Bashar al-Assad has yet to take back

CONFLICT. A man walks amidst the rubble of a building, destroyed during airstrikes by the Syrian regime and their allies near the town of Saraqeb in Syria's rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib on May 7, 2019. Photo by Amer Alhamwe/AFP

Wife of jailed China rights lawyer pleads to see him

May 03, 2019 - 9:39 PM

'My concern is that from the time he was arrested, no one has seen Wang Quanzhang, not even the lawyers that we hired,' his wife Li Wenzu says

CHR: Killings prove that violent rhetoric, vilification of human rights 'deadly'

May 03, 2019 - 2:16 PM

The public threats 'will weaken the works and influence of human rights defenders... who continue to challenge all forms of injustices and hold people in authority to account,' according to the Commission on Human Rights

HR DEFFENDERS – Cordillera Human Rights defenders march down Session Road to press the government to improve its human rights records in celebration of the 70th Celebration of International Human Rights Day late Monday afternoon in Baguio City. – Photo by Mau Victa

How Duterte gov’t tried to fix legal loopholes of drug war

Apr 30, 2019 - 6:24 PM

The PNP circular and the corrective resolutions that followed show haste on the part of the Duterte administration to launch the anti-illegal drug campaign

Former spokesman of rights group Karapatan arrested in Davao City

Apr 29, 2019 - 9:11 PM

Kelly Delgado is allegedly found in possession of shabu, according to Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, whose assassination was allegedly plotted by Delgado 9 years ago

IN CUSTODY. Kelly Delgado is arrested at a joint police and military checkpoint in Lasang, Davao City, on April 27, 2019. Photo courtesy of Task Force Davao

Closure only once 'truth revealed' on Jonas Burgos abduction – family

Apr 27, 2019 - 4:33 PM

'So long as we, the families of the desaparecidos, have our breaths, no one can stop us in our fight to surface our disappeared loved ones,' says Mary Ann Burgos

Human Rights organizations and family members of the desaparecidos gather at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to remember the 12th year anniversary of the dissapearance of activist Jonas Burgos. Editha Burgos, mother of Jonas, remains hopeful that justice will still prevail and that she will still see her son again. While Jonas' wife, Mean Burgos, hopes that despite the court acquital of Army Major Harry Baliaga Jr. of arbitrary detention charges, justice will still prevail. April 26, 2019.

Circulars in Duterte’s drug war violate constitutional rights – research

Apr 26, 2019 - 11:47 AM

(UPDATED) Voluntary submission in existing laws can exempt a drug suspect from criminal liability. In Duterte’s war on drugs, a surrenderer may further expose himself to prosecution, according to research done by the Ateneo Human Rights Center

OPLAN TOKHANG. Cops go around Muntinlupa City to knock and plead with drug suspects to surrender. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

King restores citizenship of 551 Bahrainis

Apr 21, 2019 - 11:30 PM

Bahrain's King Hamad instructs authorities to take into account 'the nature of crimes committed' by 551 Bahrainis whose citizenship had earlier been revoked

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa takes part in a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at a hotel in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP)

CHR warns red-tagging has 'serious implications' on security of groups

Apr 17, 2019 - 1:15 PM

The Commission on Human Rights reminds the government that branding any group as a communist front without proper trial violates their constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence

Filipino-Canadians demand justice for slain farmers in Negros

Apr 12, 2019 - 10:01 AM

The protest outside the Philippine Consulate in Toronto also calls for end to Canadian military aid to the Philippines

Photo by Marites Sison

China defends exit ban on human rights lawyer

Apr 11, 2019 - 10:08 PM

The US State Department says it was 'disturbed' by the move and urges China to 'respect [Chen Jiangang]'s freedom of movement'

Beijing Capital Airport image via B.Zhou/Shutterstock

Egypt urged to reveal whereabouts of missing deportees

Apr 04, 2019 - 7:37 PM

Human Rights Watch says those deported are now 'at serious risk of torture and ill-treatment in Egypt' and 'could face severe torture and unfair trials'

FUNERAL. Egyptian soldiers stand guard outside the Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi Mosque, during the funeral of Egyptian state prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, who died hours after a powerful explosion hit his convoy yesterday, in the capital Cairo on June 30, 2015. Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP

CHR: Release of drug war documents important for accountability

Apr 03, 2019 - 2:50 PM

'It is only through greater transparency that we can ascertain the truth behind the circumstances leading to these killings,' says the Commission on Human Rights

Rights groups call for independent probe into Negros Oriental killings

Apr 02, 2019 - 2:20 PM

The killings are 'the handiwork of vicious butchers and men in uniform intoxicated by power,' says Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay

Anakpawis partylist stormed in front of Camp Crame in Quezon City to demand justice for the Negros 14 or victims of mass killing in Negros Oriental brought about by the joint police and millitary operations carrying out Oplan Sauron last March 30. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Human rights in Hong Kong 'deteriorating severely' – Amnesty

Mar 26, 2019 - 5:33 PM

'The concept of 'national security' as used by Hong Kong government...is arbitrarily applied to suppress dissent and political opposition,' the Amnesty International report says

HUMAN RIGHTS. Hong Kong enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland but fears are growing that those liberties are being eroded as Beijing flexes its muscles. Image via Shutterstock

HRW urges Japan to change transgender 'sterilization' law

Mar 20, 2019 - 2:28 PM

Applicants who wish to change their official documents are required to be without reproductive capacity, effectively requiring most people to be sterilised to meet criteria

FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS. Supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) take part in the "Save the Pride" parade in Tokyo on August 11, 2012. File photo by Rie Ishii/AFP

Duterte's withdrawal from ICC an 'act of desperation' – Human Rights Watch

Mar 19, 2019 - 3:11 PM

'[President Rodrigo Duterte]'s bald-faced effort to protect himself from the court’s reach looks more like an act of desperation for a man who appears deeply implicated in alleged crimes against humanity,' HRW's Param-Preet Singh says

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte waves to the guests during the ceremonial confirmation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite canvass results and oath-taking ceremony of the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority at the Malacañan Palace on February 22, 2019. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Campuses not camps: China defends Xinjiang policies at UN

Mar 16, 2019 - 11:50 AM

China's vice foreign minister Le Yucheng says their 'training centers' are meant to educate and rehabilitate

UIGHURS. China defends their 'vocational training centers' from critics who say that one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic minorities are being held in detention centers in Xinjiang. File photo shows ethnic Uighurs at a protest march asking for the European Union to call upon China to respect human rights in the Chinese Xinjiang region Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/ AFP

Saudi Arabia rejects call for international probe of Khashoggi murder

Mar 14, 2019 - 11:20 PM

The head of a Saudi delegation speaking before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva insists that his country is taking all the 'measures required for us to resolve this heinous crime'

United Nations rights office to send team to Venezuela

Mar 08, 2019 - 6:18 PM

The mission, expected to be in Venezuela from March 11 to 22, will also try to ensure a future visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

MICHELLE BACHELET. In this file photo taken on February 25, 2019 United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet looks on during the opening day of the 40th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, in Geneva. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Saudi hit with rare rebuke at U.N. rights body over Khashoggi

Mar 08, 2019 - 10:08 AM

Thirty-six nations condemn Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a rare censure of the oil-rich kingdom at the UN Human Rights Council

A man passes in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on November 11, 2018 that the US will hold accountable all involved in killing a dissident Saudi journalist. OZAN KOSE / AFP

2019 polls choice between 'better lives or doomed souls' – rights groups

Mar 07, 2019 - 2:45 PM

'At this juncture, we simply cannot afford a business-as-usual approach to this political exercise,' says the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates

CHR: Drug list ahead of polls 'will only fuel mudslinging, violence'

Mar 07, 2019 - 2:40 PM

The Commission on Human Rights opposes the plan of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to release a drug list in time for the May 2019 elections

Sri Lanka U-turns on war crimes probe

Mar 06, 2019 - 9:32 PM

But President Maithripala Sirisena's cohabitation government seeks to distance itself from his stance, saying the administration of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will remain engaged with the UN on war crimes

U-TURN. President Maithripala Sirisena says he will formally ask the United Nations Human Rights Council to reconsider a 2015 resolution which called for credible investigations into alleged atrocities. File photo by AFP

Venezuela crisis worsened by sanctions – U.N.

Mar 06, 2019 - 7:46 PM

(UPDATED) 'Venezuela clearly illustrates the way violations of civil and political rights can accentuate a decline of economic and social rights,' says United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet

VENEZUELA. View of a Venezuelan national flag reading S.O.S. during a rally with Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido upon his arrival in Caracas on March 4, 2019. Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP

CHR: Improve jail management to prevent crimes inside prisons

Mar 06, 2019 - 5:22 PM

'The goal of prisons should be to reform persons deprived of liberty, to uphold human dignity while being accountable for their faults,' CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia says

Inside the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on October 28, 2016.

Missing Chinese rights lawyer returns home but 'still not free' – wife

Mar 04, 2019 - 11:10 AM

'After not seeing each other for 6 years, we were finally able to talk and video chat,' Jin Bianling, wife of Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, tells AFP

This handout video frame grab taken and released by Changsha Intermediate People's Court on August 22, 2017 shows Chinese rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong (C) appearing in court in Changsha in China's central Hunan province. A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer whose case has drawn international concerns confessed to charges of "inciting subversion of state power" on August 22 in what Amnesty International dubbed a "sham trial". Handout / Changsha Intermediate People's Court / AFP

Pompeo raises importance of free press, rights of 'all Filipinos' with Locsin

Mar 01, 2019 - 1:20 PM

'We never forget the importance of human rights, rule of law, transparency, justice wherever it is that we go,' says the visiting US official but refrains from publicly citing specific attacks on free speech and human rights in his host country

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to Philippines' Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin (L) speak at a news conference at the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs Home Office in Manila on March 1, 2019. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP)

End Duterte ‘war’ on rights defenders, watchdogs say

Feb 28, 2019 - 6:39 PM

'Alongside his infamous ‘war on drugs’, President Duterte has declared open season on human rights defenders in the Philippines,' says the International Federation for Human Rights

'VIOLENT RHETORIC.' Human rights watchdogs call out President Rodrigo Duterte supposedly encouraging threats against human rights defenders like activists, journalists, and opposition lawmakers. Malacañang file photo

Impunity reigned in Middle East in 2018, says Amnesty International

Feb 27, 2019 - 10:17 AM

'Is it acceptable for activists to undergo arbitrary detention, torture, sexual harassment ... and even enforced disappearances simply for expressing their opinions in a peaceful way,' says rights watchdog

Robredo: Maria Ressa, Bishop David prove human rights worth fighting for

Feb 26, 2019 - 6:15 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo praises Rappler CEO Maria Ressa for her 'revolutionary' resilience and Bishop Pablo David for his compassion

KA PEPE DIOKNO AWARDS. (From L-R): DLSU president Brother Armin Luistro, ex-president Noynoy Aquino, UP professor Randy David, Vice President Leni Robredo, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, DLSU Chancellor Brother Bernie Oca, and DLSU College of Law founding dean Chel Diokno. Photo from OVP

Maria Ressa, Bishop David receive Ka Pepe Diokno Human Rights Awards

Feb 26, 2019 - 2:20 PM

(UPDATED) Bishop Pablo David does not attend the awarding ceremony after receving a number of death threats in the past week

FREEDOM FIGHTER. Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa delivers her speech during the Ka Pepe Diokno Human Rights Awards. Screenshot by Rappler

Groups urge unity vs tyranny ahead of People Power anniversary

Feb 23, 2019 - 4:22 PM

(UPDATED) ‘We cannot allow the next generation of Filipinos to live in fear and violence. We stand against the Duterte government,’ says the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates

'ONE VOICE'. Church groups join others in a  rally to mark the 33rd EDSA People Power anniversary two days earlier, on February 23, 2019.  Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Human Rights Watch expresses 'deep concern' over red-tagging in Cagayan de Oro

Feb 23, 2019 - 1:50 PM

'Dozens of individuals have been targeted for extrajudicial or summary killing in the Philippines after they were labeled as communist,' says Human Rights Watch

Bashir declares year-long state of emergency across Sudan

Feb 23, 2019 - 10:17 AM

Protesters accuse the government of mismanaging their economy and call on President Omar al-Bashir to step down

UNREST. Sudanese protestors burn tires during an anti-government demonstration on January 18, 2019 in the capital Khartoum. Photo from AFP

Blame for mass rapes points to South Sudan army – U.N. report

Feb 20, 2019 - 11:59 PM

'Collected evidence seems to suggest that the perpetrators of rapes in the Bentiu area are men who have the opportunity to come and go at ease within [Sudanese People's Liberation Army],' the report says

Chel Diokno: Duterte worse than Arroyo in human rights violations

Feb 20, 2019 - 9:55 AM

‘Never in our history have we seen this kind of killing,’ says Otso Diretso candidate Chel Diokno, who also has a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to declare the bloody campaign against illegal drugs unconstitutional

HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER. Chel Diokno of the Otso Diretso slate says the Duterte administration is worse than the Arroyo administration in terms of human rights violations. Rappler screenshot

U.N. rights office: Maria Ressa arrest latest in ‘pattern of intimidation’ vs Rappler

Feb 18, 2019 - 4:00 PM

Charges that 'appear to be aimed at preventing journalists from undertaking their profession' also deprive the public of their right to information, says Rupert Colville, spokesperson of UN Rights chief Michelle Bachelet

Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa arrives at the NBI Cybercrime Division office after her arrest on February 13, 2019. Photo ny LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Maria Ressa's arrest part of broader gov't campaign, say rights groups

Feb 14, 2019 - 11:25 AM

(UPDATED) Human rights groups say the arrest of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is consistent with the repeated threats not just against journalists but also legislators, lawyers, and activists, among others

Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa arrives at the NBI Cybercrime Division office after her arrest on February 13, 2019. Photo ny LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

U.N. special rapporteur condemns detention of Maria Ressa

Feb 14, 2019 - 10:10 AM

David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, says it is 'simply intolerable' that Ressa remains in NBI custody

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Human rights defenders also killed under Duterte administration

Feb 07, 2019 - 6:13 PM

2017 marks the bloodiest year for human rights defenders under the Duterte administration

Over a hundred human rights defenders have been killed under the Duterte administration alone.

Journalists, institutions decry 'absurd legal attack' against Rappler

Feb 07, 2019 - 3:24 PM

(UPDATED) Journalist groups and institutions denounce the weaponization of anti-cybercrime laws

Rappler Talk: Chito Gascon on PH outside International Criminal Court

Feb 06, 2019 - 3:00 PM

CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon sits down with Rappler editor-at-large Marites Vitug on Wednesday, February 6, to discuss what the future holds for the Philippines as a non-member of the International Criminal Court

Venezuela's Guaido pressures Maduro over humanitarian aid

Feb 03, 2019 - 7:47 PM

A day earlier, National Assembly head Guaido and socialist leader Maduro held competing mass rallies in the capital Caracas

OPPOSITION LEAD. Venezuela's National Assembly head Juan Guaido speaks to the crowd during a mass opposition rally against leader Nicolas Maduro in which he declared himself the country's "acting president". File photo by Federico PARRA / AFP

IN PHOTOS: No man's land

Feb 03, 2019 - 5:50 PM

Palm oil is a multibillion-dollar industry for Indonesia. But the people responsible for its production are not the ones reaping the riches.

BEARING THE BRUNT. Palm oil workers transfering the fruits into another truck.