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Kurdish Forces Suspected of Executing ISIS Fighters: Daily Brief

Plus: Discrimination against workers with HIV in Philippines; aid needed in Burma's Kachin State; ICC to examine Philippines 'war on drugs' & Venezuela's human rights abuses; Cambodia should free activist Sam Sokha; Uyghur refugees risk deportation to China; some good news in France and Ethiopia.


  1. New evidence suggests that the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Asayish security forces carried out mass executions of alleged ISIS fighters in their custody, which constitutes a war crime.
  2. The Philippines has the fastest-growing HIV infection rate in the Asia-Pacific region, but workers and employees living with HIV who suffer workplace discrimination often do not seek redress.
  3. The Burmese military should ensure that humanitarian aid reaches all civilians in need in northern Kachin State. On Monday, some 5,000 people demonstrated in Myitkyina, the state capital, against the Burmese military operations in the state.
  4. The International Criminal Court will conduct a “preliminary examination” into killings linked to the Philippine government’s "war on drugs." An ICC preliminary examination is not a full-blown, on-the-ground investigation, but it should spur efforts by United Nations member countries to push back against President Duterte’s efforts to legitimize his bloody campaign.
  5. The ICC will also open a preliminary examination of the situation in Venezuela. The announcement escalates pressure on Venezuelan authorities to stop human rights violations and hold those responsible to account.
  6. The Cambodian government should immediately free Sam Sokha, a labor activist detained for having thrown a sandal at a photo of Prime Minister Hun Sen. On Thursday, Thai authorities forcibly returned Sam Sokha, who had been detained in Bangkok in January, to Cambodia.
  7. The government of Malaysia should ensure that 11 detained migrants are not forcibly deported to China. The migrants, who China claims are Uyghurs, should have urgent access to a fair process to determine their refugee claims.
  8. Good news from France: all people with disabilities are to be granted the right to vote. The current electoral law allows a judge to deprive people who have been assigned a guardian to make decisions on their behalf of the right to vote. Most of the time this impacts persons with a disability.
  9. And in Ethiopia, state-run media have reported that 746 prisoners would be pardoned, including renowned journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition politician Andualem Arage. But whether these releases are a genuine step towards a more open political and media space is unclear.