Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to continue his “war on drugs” in spite of growing calls for an investigation into his role in it.
On March 6, the Philippine government lifted its suspension on police anti-drug operations. The suspension had been imposed in January following revelations that anti-drug police had kidnapped and killed a South Korean businessman.
Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald dela Rosa has christened this new phase of the drug war Project Double Barrel Alpha, Reloaded, and has said it will be “less bloody, if not bloodless” than that of the previous eight months.
That bloodshed is unquestionable: police and “unidentified gunmen” have killed more than 7,000 suspected drug users and drug dealers since July 2016.… Seguir leyendo »
Like thousands of other female applicants to Indonesia's National Police, 24-year-old Sari (not her real name) submitted to the mandatory "virginity test" that the authorities require women -- but not men -- to take as part of the application process.
In a police hospital in the city of Makassar in 2008, Sari says that she and 20 other fellow police recruits were told to undress, lie down on a table and allow a physician to perform a "two-finger test." Six years later, Sari says she is still traumatized. "I feared that after they performed the test I would not be a virgin anymore.… Seguir leyendo »
The Feb. 14 visit to Washington by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping gives the United States a well-timed opportunity to lay its cards on the table for China’s presumptive next president and Communist Party chairman. With U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke’s recent characterization of China’s human rights situation as “worsening,” the United States should use Mr. Xi’s visit to state unambiguously that a failure to reverse that trend constitutes a serious obstacle to better bilateral relations. The U.S. can take three steps to ensure he gets that Valentine's Day message.
First, President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden could highlight individual cases that represent some of the most serious abuses taking place today.… Seguir leyendo »
In the midst of China's worst spike in official repression in more than a decade, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao spoke out April 14 about the need for his government to "encourage people to speak truthfully." The irony of Mr. Wen's words would not be lost on the globally recognized activist-artist Ai Weiwei, just one of dozens of artists, lawyers, civil society activists and bloggers detained, arrested or missing since mid-February. The crackdown, sparked by official fears of a possible Middle Eastern-style "jasmine revolution" that could threaten the Chinese Communist Party's 61-year monopoly on power, shows no sign of abating.
Mr. Ai's case is emblematic of the increasingly thuggish tactics of security forces tasked with smothering dissent in recent weeks.… Seguir leyendo »
If President Obama can raise just one human rights issue at the summit this week with Chinese President Hu Jintao, he should speak for China's disappeared.
On Dec. 19, 2009, 20 Uighurs - a Muslim ethnic minority in China who have long suffered from state discrimination and other abuses - were forced onto a Chinese government plane in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, flown back to China and effectively disappeared into official custody. Since then, the only whisper of the fate of the deported Uighurs - who included two infants - was an unconfirmed report in mid-January 2010 that some of them had been sentenced by a Xinjiang court to verdicts that included the death penalty.… Seguir leyendo »
Last month's announcement of a Nobel peace prize for the Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo, together with the approaching award ceremony on 10 December, have driven official tolerance for peaceful dissent in China to a new low.
Just ask Zhao Lianhai. On 10 November, a Beijing court sentenced Zhao to a two-and-a-half-year prison term on charges of "provoking disorder" for exposing the government failure to assist the thousands of child victims of China's melamine-tainted milk scandal of 2008.
Zhao's crime? Helping to establish a grassroots advocacy group, Kidney Stones Babies, which rallied parents of victims to demand compensation and the designation of an official day of remembrance for the six deaths and approximately 300,000 children sickened by tainted dairy products.… Seguir leyendo »
Pretend it didn't happen. That's apparently the strategy of the Chinese government, the World Health Organisation, and the International Olympic Committee toward China's melamine milk contamination scandal during the Beijing Olympics.
An official ban on reporting of "all food safety issues" during the games stifled domestic media coverage of revelations that at least 20 dairy firms were spiking milk products with the chemical melamine. That cover-up contributed to the deaths of six children and illness among 300,000 others.
But there's not a whisper of melamine – or of the reporting ban – in a May 2010 book jointly issued by the Chinese government, the WHO and IOC, The Health Legacy of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: Successes and Recommendations.… Seguir leyendo »