UN rights experts criticize hoarding of Covid-19 vaccines; Saudi Arabia may free female activists; EU funding to be tied to respect for rule of law; investigation into Frontex’s complicity in abuses needed; Belarus crackdown against protesters escalates; another journalist murdered in the Philippines; responsible ways to return stolen assets; East African human rights film festival continues; and the world’s first feminist honored with sculpture.

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While hopes rise that a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine will soon be available, UN human rights experts have criticised countries that are trying to hoard any future vaccine for their own citizens and warned that “no one is secure until all of us are secure,” echoing Human Rights Watch’s recommendations that whoever finds the vaccine must share it.

Saudi Arabia  has been under growing pressure about its human rights record ahead of hosting the G20 World Leaders’ Summit this month. Now, it seems, authorities are mulling whether the continued detention of female activists is causing too much political damage and whether to set the women free, the Saudi ambassador to the UK said.


EU governments that dismantle their judiciary and erode institutional checks and balance could lose money following the EU Council’s agreement on a new mechanism that makes EU funding conditional on respect for the rule of law. But already Hungary is threatening retaliation. 

The top governing body of the European Union Border & Coast Guard Agency Frontex should establish an independent inquiry into allegations of the agency’s involvement in abuses against people seeking protection from conflicts and persecution.

Authorities in Belarus are escalating their abusive crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Breaking: Philippine journalist Virgilio Maganes was killed outside his home today. It was the 18th killing of a journalist since President Rodrigo Duterte took power in 2016.

There are responsible ways to return stolen public assets that bleed billions from governments every year: Civil society organizations lay out some guiding principles.


Good news: Today marks the second day of Human Rights Watch’s East African Film Festival. Tickets are free.

More good news: Mary Wollstonecraft, known as the “mother of feminism” and an important philosopher and educationalist best known for “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”, is finally commemorated with a sculpture – 223 years after her death.


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