Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch

Phil Robertson

Human Rights Watch


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Past articles by Phil:

Philippines Undercounts Recent ‘Drug War’ Deaths

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday sought to downplay recent killings in the so-called “war on drugs,” claiming the death toll since the inauguration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was “very minimal.” → Read More

As Philippines’ Marcos Speaks Before UN, a Few Reminders

When President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks before the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, September 21, expect that he will present the same misleading picture of human rights in the Philippines that he has been hawking to the international community since he won the election in July. → Read More

Philippine General Should Answer for ‘Red-Tagging’

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.” → Read More

Philippine Candidate Unfit for UN Women’s Rights Body

In the coming weeks, 189 countries from around the world will elect 23 members to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW committee) for the 2021-2024 term. → Read More

Another Spike in Philippines’ ‘Drug War’ Deaths

Last week, the Philippine government released new statistics on the country’s “war on drugs,” showing that police killed 46 people during anti-drug operations in August. → Read More

Philippine Rights Group Under Attack

In a series of tweets, Karapatan, a left-wing political group, identified the people targeted and said they were “under extreme risk.” → Read More

Two More Philippine Activists Shot Dead

On August 17 in the central Philippine island of Negros, unidentified gunmen fatally shot Zara Alvarez, a legal worker for the human rights group Karapatan. Alvarez, 39, was the thirteenth human rights defender killed in the Philippines in the past four years. → Read More

Two More Philippine Activists Murdered

On August 17 in the central Philippine island of Negros, unidentified gunmen fatally shot Zara Alvarez, a legal worker for the human rights group Karapatan. Alvarez, 39, was the thirteenth human rights defender killed in the Philippines in the past four years. → Read More

Philippines Uses ‘Drug War’ Tactics to Fight Covid-19

The Philippine government announced this week that police will conduct house-to-house searches for people who might have been infected with the novel coronavirus and then forcibly relocate them to government-run isolation facilities. → Read More

Philippines in Hot Seat at UN Rights Council

The Philippines came under scrutiny when the United Nations Human Rights Council convened in Geneva on Tuesday. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet gave the stark findings of her office’s report on the Philippines, which the council requested last year. → Read More

Myanmar Denials Define COVID-19 Response

In a world beset by the coronavirus pandemic, denial is becoming an increasingly rare commodity – but don’t tell that to Myanmar’s government, which still claims there are no cases of COVID-19 in the country. → Read More

Myanmar Again Cuts Rakhine State’s Internet

Myanmar authorities have issued a surprise order reinstating the shutdown of mobile internet traffic in five townships in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Chin States. Added to four other Rakhine State townships where mobile internet service has been blocked since June 2019, this leaves nine townships unable to get online. → Read More

Two Years On: No Home for the Rohingya

Time stands still for more than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims, who are still unable to return home two years after being driven out of northern Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh, fleeing widespread killings, rape, and the burning of their villages at the hands of the Myanmar military. The recently failed attempt to repatriate refugees underscores just how inadequate the → Read More

What’s Next for Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Victims?

Former deputy Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea, known as “Brother No. 2,” died last week at age 93 in Phnom Penh. His death has revived important questions about whether the millions of Cambodians who died under Khmer Rouge rule between 1975 and 1979 and their families have gotten the justice they deserve. → Read More

Human Rights Pushed Aside at Trump-Kim Summit

US President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un today and called him a “terrific leader” who loves his country. The dictator from Pyongyang certainly has a strange way of showing it, keeping over 100,000 of his fellow citizens in abject misery in mountain gulags. → Read More

Power at All Costs: Where Missiles and Human Rights Overlap in North Korea

The head of a state-owned enterprise in Chongjin city was proud when his son finished his engineering degree at a prestigious university in Pyongyang. But in North Korea, pride and fear go hand-in-hand where the government is involved, the father explained: they selected his son to work at a nuclear technology facility. → Read More

Facing a Prison Camp for Fleeing North Korea

A North Korean husband nervously waited for an overseas phone call from his wife last Saturday. He hoped she and their 4-year-old son were safe after secretly crossing the North Korea border into China. Having previously escaped to South Korea, he dreamed that his long separation from his family would soon be over. But two hours went by with no call. → Read More

China's Refusal of North Korean Defectors Is Enabling a Growing Human Rights Crisis

Amid international attention on Pyongyang's missile tests, there is another life-threatening crisis emanating from North Korea that few are watching. → Read More

North Korean Refugees Trapped by China’s Expanding Dragnet

Front-page headlines, provocative tweets, diplomatic maneuvering, incendiary rhetoric and urgent U.N. Security Council meetings have been relentless in response to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s missile and nuclear tests. Many eyes are on China, and what its leaders will do to pressure Pyongyang to end its gamesmanship. → Read More

OPINION: Vietnam's Growing Online Community is Under Threat

Foreign donors should make it clear to Hanoi that closer relations depend on Vietnam tolerating its critics, rather than sending them to prison, says Phil Robertson. → Read More