MANILA – A dozen people have been found stuffed inside a closet-sized cell hidden behind a book shelf in a Philippine police station, triggering further alarm about abuse under President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on drugs. Members of the government's human rights commission, accompanied by journalists, found the men and women in a surprise visit to the station in the heart of Manila's slum area on Thursday evening. Cries of "here we are, here we are" were heard from behind a wall, according to the rights workers and journalists. The rights workers then found a hidden door behind a bookshelf, leading to the cell. Stunned detainees came stumbling out of the room, some begging for water while others, in tears, pleaded with the rights workers not to abandon them.
MEXICO CITY – Mexico's governmental human rights agency says municipal police were complicit in at least 38 abductions and killings in the town of Allende in northern Coahuila state, near the U.S. border. The National Human Rights Commission issued a recommendation Monday calling on authorities to make amends to the victims' families and ensure they could return to Allende. The commission said the Zetas drug cartel carried out the killings "with the authorization, support or acquiescence" of local police. From March 18-20 of 2011, the Zetas sent gunmen and local police to round up everyone who shared a certain last name in the town. They were punishing someone they believed had betrayed them.
As the new NFL football season gets underway in the US, it is not what is happening on the field that is attracting all the attention, but an act of defiance on the sidelines. When the national anthem played before kick-off, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled down, instead of standing up like everyone else. He was protesting against racial oppression, police brutality and social injustice. His controversial snub is winning him praise and support. Other athletes are following suit, either by also kneeling or raising their fist.
The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution setting the stage for deployment of UN police to Burundi, where nearly a year-long political unrest has killed more than 400 people and displaced tens of thousands. The resolution, agreed upon by the 15-member council on Friday, asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to present options within 15 days for deployment of UN police in order to monitor the security situation, promote respect for human rights and advance the rule of law. Burundi has been hit by unrest since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his decision to seek a third term, which he went on to win in a July election. His government has been wary of outside intervention, last year rejecting the idea of an AU peacekeeping force and calling foreign troops an "invasion." The French-drafted resolution welcomed the consent of Burundi's authorities to increase the number of African Union human rights observers from 100 to 200 and allow 100 AU military experts.