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Pope Silent On Ethnic Cleansing in Burma: Daily Brief

Plus: Vietnam detains activists prior to human rights talks with EU; Israeli settlement businesses to be ousted; "killer robots" talks disappoint; the risks of reporting torture in Azerbaijan; seeking justice for human rights abuses in Nigeria; & US "dreamers'" fate still in the balance.


  1. Having something private to share, and choosing to share it with someone else, “creates [a] bridge” between people and facilitates intimate connections. You should be able to decide whether to share it. The US government shouldn't get to take that away.
  2. Good news! A landmark UN document introduced 10 years ago to protect LGBTI people worldwide has just been updated and strengthened. New guiding principles and obligations call on governments to respect expression and identity, and embrace diversity.
  3. Women in South Korea are demanding an immediate end to the country’s restrictive and dangerous anti-abortion laws. But given how far behind South Korea is on many issues affecting women, the government's delay in responding to their demands is concerning and dangerous for women.
  4. There’s been no justice for victims of the US Central Intelligence Agency’s rendition, torture, and secret detention program created after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. But a unique citizen-led initiative in the state of North Carolina is refusing to let the issue die.
  5. Sri Lanka has made some progress in instituting human rights reforms, but most of the promises remain unfulfilled. And the government's refrain of "making haste slowly" on this progress is becoming a tired refrain.
  6. From earlier today: While Pope Francis has met leaders of several faiths as well as the army in Burma, stressing the importance of “unity in diversity”, he has so far made no mention of the ethnic cleansing campaign by the Burmese military against the Rohingya Muslims who have fled en masse to Bangladesh. Bangladesh, meanwhile, is threatening to move the refugees to a remote island if they don’t return home.
  7. A UN database of Israeli businesses that have profited from settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is to be made public no later than the end of December. It's hoped the authoritative list of corporations currently engaged in such illegal activity can help stem rights abuses.