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UN Security Council Should Act on Burma: Daily Brief

Plus: EU governments "complicit" in abuses in Libya; China's role in North Korea; China's dystopian future; Thai military can't take criticism; Abortion ban threat in Brazil; Showdown in Honduras; Ultra-nationalists storm film screening in Russia; and the Polish government's assault on rule of law


  1. Earlier this year, President Trump banned transgender people from serving in the US military. But thanks to a new court ruling, transgender people will be able to enlist in the military as of January 1, 2018. This marks a victory for LGBT people in the US, but the fight is not yet over. The Trump administration should not move forward with this repugnant, discriminatory ban.
  2. The United Nations Security Council should take immediate action to respond to Burma’s Rohingya crisis, Human Rights Watch and 80 other nongovernmental organizations said today in a joint appeal to the council. Also, an agreement by Bangladesh and Burma to begin returning Rohingya refugees to Burma by January is severely unrealistic given the continued military abuses on the ground in Burma.
  3. European governments are "complicit" in horrific abuses of refugees & migrants in Libya, says a new report from Amnesty International.
  4. North Korea’s cruelty – described by the UN as, “unparalleled in the modern world,” – sees millions of its people suffer grave human rights violations at the hands of their own government, including torture, murder, enslavement, and rape. China deserves greater scrutiny for its role in supporting the Kim regime and facilitating North Korea’s egregious abuses.
  5. The Chinese government’s “social credit system” vows to “make trustworthy people benefit everywhere and untrustworthy people restricted everywhere” by the time it is fully implemented in 2020. Or 1984, perhaps.
  6. Thai military authorities have accused a political party official of committing sedition and computer crimes for posting commentary critical of the junta on her Facebook page, Human Rights Watch said today. Sunisa Lertpakawat, the Pheu Thai Party spokeswoman, was ordered to report to the Police Technology Crime Suppression Division to hear the charges against her on December 13, 2017.
  7. In Brazil, a dangerous constitutional amendment would ban abortion even for pregnancies resulting from rape, or when the life of the woman is in danger.
  8. Honduran authorities should take immediate action to ensure the credibility of the country’s general elections on November 26, 2017, and should respect the right to peaceful protest. International observers reported irregularities in the election process, casting serious doubt on the legitimacy of the elections. After allegations that results had been manipulated, protests erupted and authorities decreed a state of emergency.
  9. Russian ultra-nationalists stormed the screening of a documentary in Moscow, disrupting the showing of the film, Flight of a Bullet, about the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Police stood by.
  10. The Polish government’s assault on the rule of law continues unabated. Last week the lower house of the Polish parliament adopted two draft laws that would force most of the Supreme Court into retirement, and give the ruling party control over judicial appointments. Also, an independent news outlet in Poland was fined for broadcasting anti-government demonstrations.