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Asylum Seekers Trapped as Winter Hits Greece: Daily Brief

Plus: Yugoslav Tribunal made history; Detainees "disappeared" in Iraq; Blow to media freedom in Kyrgyzstan; Iraq & Syria deadliest countries for journalists; Somali refugees are being forced back home; and a mass murderer's memorial in Moscow?


  1. Winter has begun in Greece where more than 13,500 asylum seekers are still trapped on islands in deplorable conditions. Greece, with support from its European Union partners, should urgently transfer these people to the Greek mainland and provide them with adequate accommodation and access to fair and efficient asylum procedures. Join our campaign to #OpenTheIslands.
  2. Today marks the last day of the Yugoslav Tribunal, which has made history with its prosecutions and convictions of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as Ratko Mladic and Slobodan Milosevic. Join our Facebook Live at 1700 CET / 1100 EDT, on how activists and journalists exposed war crimes in former Yugoslavia.
  3. More than 350 detainees held by the Kurdistan Regional Government in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk are feared to have been forcibly disappeared, Human Rights Watch said today.
  4. Kyrgyzstan’s human rights situation has suffered multiple setbacks this year. The European Union, EU member states, and the United States, among others, should speak out against the authorities’ assault on freedom of expression and the harm caused to the Kyrgyz people. Keeping silent is no longer an option.
  5. At least 42 reporters have been killed in the course of their work this year, according to an analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Iraq was the most deadly country with eight reporters killed. It is the first time in six years that Syria did not top the list. Seven journalists were killed in Syria in 2017.
  6. Somali refugees are being forced to leave Dadaab camp in Kenya to return to their home country and face insecurity, drought and hunger, according to an Amnesty International briefing.
  7. And a renowned British sculptor has received harsh criticism for accepting a commission to create a monument to Uzbekistan's late president, Islam Karimov. During his 25+ year rule, Karimov oversaw "truly terrible human rights abuses”, says HRW's Hugh Williamson in The Guardian. “To erect monuments to his memory that entirely ignore this terrible record is a rewriting of history that should raise serious concerns for all those involved.”