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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 23.02.2024

This Organization Wants the World to Know About Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Violations


While Saudi Arabia has attempted to undergo a PR makeover in recent years — owing to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s gradual opening up of his country to global leaders and foreign investors — those familiar with the kingdom’s inner workings tell a different story, one that counters bin Salman’s depiction of a “vibrant society.” Jailed human rights defenders continue to receive long prison sentences and arbitrary travel bans under shady charges, while everyday people live in fear of being targeted by authorities online.


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Vice FM to address N. Korean human rights issues at U.N. session next week


Second Vice Foreign Minister Kang In-sun will attend the upcoming session of the U.N. Human Rights Council next week and address North Korea's human rights violations, the foreign ministry said Thursday. Kang will deliver a keynote speech at the high-level session of the U.N. human rights council in Geneva on Tuesday (local time), in which she will highlight South Korea's commitment to promoting international human rights, the ministry said. She will also call for the international community's support and cooperation regarding North Korea's grave human rights situations.


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Free Julian Assange: Exposing human rights violations is not a crime


The protracted legal persecution against Julian Assange has no end in sight. The High Court has heard over two days the arguments pleading for the possibility for Assange to appeal against his extradition to the US. Opposing the investigative journalist in the Court, is the US government, which wants him transferred to face charges of espionage. At the end of the two-day hearing that took place on 20 and 21 February, the Court gave until 4 March 2024 for the defence team to submit complementary elements before its final ruling.


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“We Will Find You”


For decades, Human Rights Watch has documented governments reaching outside their borders to silence or deter dissent by committing human rights abuses against their own nationals or former nationals. Governments have targeted human rights defenders, journalists, civil society activists, and political opponents, among others, deemed to be a security threat. Many are asylum seekers or recognized refugees in their place of exile. These governmental actions beyond borders leave individuals unable to find genuine safety for themselves and their families. This is transnational repression.


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Walk Free urges Germany and EU states to stop human rights abuses in supply chains


No business should profit from modern slavery. We need laws to increase corporate accountability by driving responsible business practices.    The CSDDD is world-leading and ensures large companies shoulder some responsibility for human rights abuses perpetrated in the making of their products.  It would direct EU member states to enact legislation requiring businesses of a certain size to conduct human rights and environmental due diligence and report on their efforts.


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‘A betrayal’: mother’s fight for justice as Indonesia elects Suharto era figure


Every Thursday for the past 17 years, in searing heat and pouring rain, Maria Catarina Sumarsih has stood outside the Indonesian presidential palace, demanding justice for her son. He was shot dead in 1998, when authorities opened fire on student protesters as they called for an end to the rule of dictator Suharto. Soon, it is assumed, the palace behind her will be inhabited by Prabowo Subianto – a former son-in-law of Suharto and a special commander under his 32-year regime, one of the most brutal and corrupt of the 20th century. He is accused of involvement in a series of rights abuses, including enforced disappearances and torture during the Suharto era, which ended in the same year that Sumarsih’s son died.


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