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South Africa to Withdraw from ICC: Daily Brief

Plus: Fresh tragedy at EU borders; Good news from Greece; Animal rights activist detained in Turkmenistan; Mexico's bill on the military in law enforcement; EU humanitarian aid to reach people with disabilities; Venezuela's slide into dictatorship; Philippines & ICC; and New resources for students.


  1. The South African government has confirmed it intends to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The announcement, made during a meeting of the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties in New York, is disappointing, but not surprising. "South Africa seems intent on squandering the opportunity to stand with victims of atrocities," said Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa director for Human Rights Watch.
  2. A 6-year-old Afghan girl has become the latest victim of EU policies on its external borders, which are putting the lives of migrants and refugees at risk. The child was hit by a train after her family attempted to cross from Serbia into Croatia.
  3. Some good news in Greece, where the government has announced it will move 5,000 asylum seekers to better accommodation on the mainland. With 12 days left before the official start of winter, the Greek government and the EU must do more to ensure that no asylum seeker is left out in the cold in hotspots on Greek islands.
  4. Police in Turkmenistan have arbitrarily detained a prominent animal rights activist, Galina Kucherenko, and are holding her at an undisclosed location. “The detention of Kucherenko and her daughter is a stark reminder of the threat that people in Turkmenistan face if they criticize the government,” said Rachel Denber,deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Turkmenistan government tolerates no criticism, not even on the treatment of stray animals.”
  5. The Mexican Senate should reject legislation that would enshrine the role of the Mexican armed forces in law enforcement activities. The bill, which authorizes military involvement in domestic law enforcement activities, does nothing to increase the transparency of the military operations or accountability for military personnel who commit abuses.
  6. The European Union is taking important steps to ensure that EU-funded humanitarian assistance reaches people with disabilities, who face massive problems in getting even basic services such as food, water, sanitation, shelter, education, and safety protection.
  7. The Venezuelan government is tightening its stranglehold on the country’s basic institutions of democracy at a terrifying speed. Without stronger measures by influential governments, the already grievous damage suffered by Venezuelan democratic institutions and victims of state violence may become irreparable.
  8. The Philippine government has implied that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should not investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs,” which nongovernmental organizations and media outlets estimate has resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 people over the past 16 months. But Duterte’s thousands of victims deserve more than empty platitudes in diplomatic circles.
  9. Discover Human Rights Watch's resources for teachers and students about how to defend dignity and equality at home and abroad.