Populism, Repression & Fear: Daily Brief

The populist president's police murders in the Philippines; China rightly rounded on for its rights record & repression; Turkey's president highlights Saudi crimes but not his own; Hungary's authoritarian slide & its European supporters; fear after activist's death in Ukraine; landmark rulings on land rights in South Africa; and oh yes, almost forgot: the US midterms...

Since populist President Rodrigo Duterte took office in July 2016, the Philippines has suffered thousand of extrajudicial killings by police and their allies. Now, a senior police official has admitted that police officers are working as hitmen for drug syndicates.  

China faces a grilling on its appalling human rights record today at the UN Human Rights Council. Beijing is trying to dress it up with ideological blah-blah, but repression is repression. 

Turkey's president was keen on outing the crimes of Saudi Arabia. But closer to home, the round-up of his critics has yet to be reversed. 

Hungary's far-right populist leader continues to crush fundamental democratic values, all but destroying the free media, undermining judicial independence, crippling civil society, and slashing academic freedom. His partners in his Europe-wide political group, the European People's Party, are performing backflips to avoid the issue.

There's fear among Ukraine's activist community in the wake of the latest news...

Tanzania's top officials can't seem to agree on the state's policy toward LGBT people - but the draconian law in the country is sadly clear and deeply worrying.

Penultimately, there is a small bit of good news today: South Africa’s highest court has delivered two landmark decisions protecting women’s rights to equality and land ownership, as well as the rights of communities living in mining areas.

And after months of furious campaigning - including incendiary rhetoric by President Trump - it's midterms day in the US... HRW urges voters to think beyond the headlines and think about our human rights at stake.