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Trapped and Abused in Oman & the UAE: Daily Brief

Plus: Burma's army denies killings; Russia intensifies persecution of Tatars; Saudi Arabia still blocking aid in Yemen; Zimbabwe clamping down on media; internet freedom declining; US lawmakers issue warning to Duterte; Erdogan ruling Turkey through fear.


  1. Hundreds of women have died in Brazil from unsafe abortion in recent years. Yet last week, 18 members of a committee in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies – all men – voted in favor of a dangerous new constitutional amendment that, if enacted, could drive those numbers higher. The only vote against was a woman’s. Thousands are protesting the proposed abortion ban that would apply even in cases of rape or risk of death.
  2. In 2014, the crisis in the Central African Republic was on the world's radar. The UN sent a peacekeeping force in an effort to help protect civilians from brutal violence. But three years later, CAR's civilians are still at extreme risk, and the UN force needs backup. As violence flares up once again and the UN prepares to vote on additional resources, it's time for renewed focus.
  3. A new Netfreedom report ranks countries' Internet access based on obstacles to access, limits on content and violations of user rights. This year, China ranked worst (behind Syria and Ethiopia) while Iceland and Estonia jointly came in first. Where does your country rank?
  4. As efforts continue to end child marriage worldwide, a new law in Iraq could instead lead to the legalization of marriage for girls as young as nine-years-old. This could be a disaster for Iraq's girls, already facing significant obstacles to education and development.
  5. Since August, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing by Burmese security forces. But while calls increase for world leaders to put pressure on Burmese authorities to stop the onslaught, those leaders wouldn't even discuss the Rohingya by name.
  6. From earlier today: Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) face excessive working hours, unpaid salaries, and physical and sexual abuse, a new Human Rights Watch report found. Visa-sponsorship rules tie workers to their employers, and Tanzania’s laws fail to provide adequate assistance for exploited workers.
  7. Burma’s army has denied all allegations of rape and killings during recent operations against ethnic Rohingya. The army’s effort to absolve itself of mass atrocities underscores why an independent international investigation is needed, Human Rights Watch says.