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The Death of Democracy in Cambodia: Daily Brief

Plus: Russia vetoes Syria resolution; UN condemns ethnic cleansing in Burma; Russian parliament targets media; mass graves in Indonesia; Azerbaijani political activist in prison; Pakistan's enforced disappearances; seriously ill activists jailed in China; refugees without shelter in Paris.


  1. Cambodia’s government-controlled Supreme Court dissolved the main opposition party and imposed political bans of five years on 118 of its members. "Democracy died in Cambodia and it’s hard to see it reviving so long as Hun Sen, in power for 32 years, remains as prime minister, said Brad Adams," Asia director for HRW.
  2. For the 10th time since 2011, Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria. This time, it blocked the continuation of an investigation into chemical weapons use. Russia's actions send a shameful message that it stands with the Syrian government over civilian victims of atrocities.
  3. The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution condemning ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population in Burma. The Burmese authorities should heed the resolution, grant access to aid workers, and to a UN fact-finding mission.
  4. The Russian parliament should reject a draft law that would impose restrictions on foreign media and further undermine media freedom in Russia.The draft, adopted on November 15 by the State Duma, is incompatible with fundamental standards on free speech, which are at the heart of a democratic society.
  5. The Azerbaijani government has another chance to free a wrongfully imprisoned political activist and halt a process that could potentially lead to its expulsion from Europe’s top human rights body, the Council of Europe. In its second judgement, the European Court of Human Rights found serious shortcomings in the conviction of Ilgar Mammadov, unlawfully jailed since 2013.
  6. An Indonesian organization representing victims of the mass killings of 1965-66 has located another 16 suspected mass graves that may contain the remains of up to 5,000 people. President Jokowi should support efforts toward accountability by ordering a careful exhumation of suspected mass grave sites, in a meaningful first step toward addressing the toxic legacy of those killings.
  7. The Chinese government should immediately release from detention rights activist Huang Qi and bookseller Yiu Mantin, who are seriously ill, and allow them to seek proper treatment.
  8. Pakistan faces serious security threats, but abducting people and making them vanish does not make the country any safer. The government should act on the demands of Senator Farahatullah Babar and the Supreme Court to end the longstanding injustice to hundreds, if not thousands of its citizens.
  9. Doctors Without Borders and Médecins du Monde have called on the French authorities to guarantee access to shelter for refugees and migrants living on the streets of Paris, and to end police harassment. Some 1,000 asylum seekers and migrants are still sleeping on the streets of the French capital, despite the dropping temperatures.