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Human Rights Watch Daily Brief, 1 October

Somalia and al-Shabaab, Côte d’Ivoire, Qatar, Russia, Iraq

The attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall was not only horrible, but  sadly reminiscent of al-Shabaab attacks in Somalia. But it comes to striking back at the armed group, we should keep in mind that Somali civilians have borne the brunt of al-Shabaab’s attacks, and that civilians should be protected. 

The International Criminal Court made public an arrest warrant for Charles Blé Goudé, who allegedly committed rape, murder and persecution during Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-2011 civil conflict, which left 3,000 dead. He is already being held in Côte d’Ivoire.

Blé Goudé was put under UN sanctions in 2006 for allegedly inciting attacks against UN personnel.

At first glance the small but wealthy state of Qatar seems to have an unusually good human rights record for a Persian Gulf country. But look deeper and you’ll see it shares the authoritarian character of its neighbours.

In Russia, an anonymous source says all arrested Greenpeace activists will be charged with piracy tomorrow. 

In Iraq, 979 people were killed and another 2,133 wounded by terrorism and violence last month, according to UN figures. In order to successfully identify and arrest those responsible for the attacks, Iraqi authorities should reform their judicial system and revise their draconian anti-terror law.

From this morning:  While the world tries to bring Syria’s chemical weapons under control, government forces continue killing civilians with other extremely powerful weapons. A Syrian government airstrike hit outside a school in the opposition-held city of Raqqa on September 29, 2013, killed at least 12 students on their first day of classes. Satellite imagery shows only a few houses and fields surrounding the school, suggesting the school was the intended target of the attack.
Hungary's parliament passed a law late last night enabling local authorities to make it a criminal offense for the homeless to live in public spaces and dumpster dive.

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