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US Calls It "Ethnic Cleansing" in Burma: Daily Brief

What's next for Zimbabwe; Assault on Manus Island; Ludicrous new Saudi counter-terrorism law; Istanbul court keeps Amnesty International Turkey head in jail; Corporal punishment in Tanzanian schools; EU pressure needed on Azerbaijan; Poland prepares for protests; and Mladic convicted of genocide.


  1. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has labelled the Burmese military's actions against the Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing." Unfortunately, some other world leaders have yet to accept this core truth about the crisis.
  2. Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as Zimbabwe's new president tomorrow. Will he be able (and willing) to make the changes the country now desperately needs? Most immediately perhaps: the military should address the issue of its detainees.
  3. Papua New Guinean police and immigration officers have launched an operation at the former detention centre on Manus Island, with disturbing reports emerging from the scene today. The UNHCR has called that crisis a “damning indictment” of Australia's refugee policy. From 2013 until last month, male asylum seekers traveling by boat to Australia have been sent to and kept on Manus Island.
  4. Saudi Arabia’s new counterterrorism law "enables abuses" with vague and overly broad definitions of acts of terrorism, in some cases punishable by death, Human Rights Watch said today.
  5. A Turkish court has decided to keep Amnesty International’s Turkey Chair, Taner Kilic, in pre-trial detention for another two months. He faces absurd charges and should be released immediately.
  6. Tanzania’s most senior United Nations official stated that, “Tanzania is among the countries doing well in combating violence against women and children.” Yet the country still allows schools to hit children.
  7. Leaders of European Union member states should press visiting Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to end the crackdown on critics and commit to concrete and sustainable human rights reforms, 37 nongovernmental groups said in a letter to heads of European Union member states.
  8. Poland is expected to see large protests tomorrow, as parliament considers key amendments that threaten the independence of the country’s judiciary.
  9. True, this piece of news happened yesterday, but since the victims waited 22 years for this modicum of justice, let's say it again: "The Butcher of Bosnia" has finally been convicted of genocide and other crimes.