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Jewelers Should Come Clean about Supply Chains: Daily Brief

Plus: Targeting women in the Philippines; what to do with ISIS suspects in Syria; Palestinian girl facing military court in Israel; Egypt's elections a farce; prison deaths in Iran; Palestinians denied life-saving medication; human rights defenders at risk in Mauritania; and Oxfam accused of abuse.

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  1. Billions will be spent on jewelry for loved ones this Valentines Day. But most jewelry brands can’t guarantee their products aren’t tainted by child and forced labor. In a new campaign called #BehindTheBling Human Rights Watch along with other NGOs asks jewelers to come clean.
  2. In the latest in a series of misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made about women, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered soldiers to shoot female dissenters “in the vagina”. The comment, says Congresswoman Emmi de Jesus, “takes state terrorism against women and the people to a whole new level”.
  3. Relatives of victims and former hostages of two recently captured UK ISIS members implicated in the torture and beheading of several foreigners have publicly called for the two to face justice in trials that are fair and that they can attend. The future of these men, as well as of the other foreign ISIS members held in northern Syria, is on the agenda of a meeting of key defense ministers that is to take place in Rome today.
  4. Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian girl, will stand trial in an Israeli military court today for slapping two soldiers. Tamimi had been refused bail and has spent almost two months in pre-trial detention. She turned 17 in jail.
  5. “Seven years after Egypt’s 2011 uprising, the government has made a mockery of the basic rights for which protesters fought,” fourteen international and regional rights organizations said today. The current atmosphere of retaliation against government critics and an increasing crackdown against human rights defenders make free and fair elections, planned for March 26-28, highly unlikely.
  6. After the alleged suicide of a well-known Iranian-Canadian academic and environmentalist in an Iranian prison, the international community should push for an immediate independent investigation. Dr. Kavouus Seyed Emami’s death is the third suspicious death in detention in Iran since early January.
  7. Israel is increasingly denying or delaying access to potentially life-saving cancer and other treatment outside Gaza – with deadly consequences for Palestinian patients.
  8. Raising issues of discrimination, slavery and accountability for state sponsored atrocities committed almost 30 years ago invites trouble in Mauritania. Those who do so face repression.
  9. After allegations that Oxfam staff in Haiti engaged in sexual misconduct in 2011, the charity has been told to show moral leadership or be stripped of its government funding. Oxfam’s chair of trustees, Caroline Thomson, pledged to widen a review of its policies and admitted, “anger and shame that behaviour like that ... happened in our organisation”.
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