"State-Sponsored Hate" Threatens Minorities: Daily Brief

Plus: US gun violence; Somalia jailing kids forced to fight for Al-Shabab; Venezuelans lose weight in economic crisis; activists remain jailed in Sudan; mass arrests & torture in Egypt; Thailand arrest threat; Ethiopia's state of emergency; UK sold spyware to Philippines; & new funding for HRW.

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  1. Over the past year, some world leaders have "pushed hate, fought against rights, ignored crimes against humanity, and blithely let inequality and suffering spin out of control", Amnesty International said in the release of its annual report today. But while the challenges have never been greater, the will to fight back is "just as strong", Amnesty said.
  2. The fierce debate about gun violence continues in the US, with President Trump hitting headlines for saying that schools could be protected from mass shootings by arming teachers. Meanwhile, a school district in the state of Texas has threatened to suspend students who skip school to protest gun laws.
  3. Authorities in Somalia are unlawfully detaining and at times prosecuting in military courts children with alleged ties to Al-Shabab, the Islamist armed group.
  4. Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year and almost 90 percent now live in poverty, according to a new study on the impact of the country's devastating economic crisis.
  5. The world should know that, despite Sudan’s release of some protesters as the cameras rolled, dozens of activists remain hidden behind bars without access to their families, lawyers, or due process, HRW has warned.
  6. As Egypt prepares to go to the polls next month (an election in which all challengers to the incumbent, President Al Sisi, have been harassed from standing), critics accuse Sisi's regime of mass arrests, torture and disappearances.
  7. Three activists in Thailand may face a long spell in prison if they are detained on sedition charges.
  8. After two years of protests, the release of many political prisoners in Ethiopia could have paved the way for lasting reforms. But a new state of emergency has dashed those hopes.
  9. A Labour MP says that Britain has broken its own laws on arms sales after licensing the sale of £150,000 of spyware to the Philippines weeks after President Duterte threatened the extrajudicial killing of drug dealers and users.
  10. And finally, HRW will start new work to protect the rights of women and girls in three African countries thanks to substantial funding received from the People's Postcode Lottery.
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