- Amid economic crisis, Lebanese parliament should protect rights;
- Free online textbooks for Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria;
- Bolsonaro's environmental policy under review;
- Arrest of peaceful protesters in Angola;
- Harrasment of human rights defenders in Thailand;
- Listen to our twitter space on Ethiopia's Tigray.
A month from now, Lebanon will have its parliamentary elections. Human Rights Watch wrote letters to major political parties and candidates today, citing 10 key areas for reform, like justice and accountability, the economic crisis, women’s rights, migrant domestic workers, among others. As Lebanon struggles through one of the worst economic crises in modern times, the country's next parliament can play a crucial role in protecting citizens’ rights. Candidates should use this opportunity to publicly commit to improving the human rights situation in Lebanon.
While European countries have opened schools to refugee children from Ukraine, children still face the challenges of learning a different curriculum in a new language, near the end of the school year. European telecommunications providers should follow the example of Bulgaria’s Yettel, which is providing services without charge to Ukrainian children and their families who had to flee the country. Offering children free access to familiar textbooks and learning material in their own language will provide some relief for displaced and distressed children and their parents, and temporarily serve as a mobile solution for families fleeing to safety.
Last week, Brazil’s Supreme Court boldly launched a review of seven environmental cases, most involving petitions challenging the destructive policies of President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration. In addition to assessing the president's environmental policies, it creates an important space for the voices of local communities, Indigenous peoples, civil society organizations, political parties, and well-known artists standing up for the environment, to be heard. In her conclusion, the Supreme Court judge said that Bolsonaro’s policies had resulted in an “unconstitutional state of affairs." This rulings could determine the future of Brazil’s civilian environmental institutions – and the fate of the Amazon rainforest and its defenders.
As they gathered to march against the detention of political prisoners and call for free and fair elections in Angola, peaceful protesters, including a mother and her six month old baby, got arrested and charged. If found guilty, they could face up to two years in prison. Instead of charging the protesters, Angolan authorities should drop this abusive prosecution and investigate police conduct that violates people's rights to peaceful protests.
Yesterday, a former commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand was harassed in her home. Such violent acts are intended to intimidate the entire human rights community, so the Thai government should respond immediately by undertaking a serious investigation to ensure everyone responsible for this incident is held accountable.
In case you missed it, yesterday, Human Rights Watch held a Twitter Space discussion on crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia’s Western Tigray. The discussion was based on a report published with Amnesty International that looked at how the Amhara regional security forces, militias, and newly appointed authorities have carried out a campaign of ethnically targeted persecution in Western Tigray. Ethiopian authorities have steadfastly denied the shocking breadth of the crimes that have unfolded and have egregiously failed to address them. The response of Ethiopia’s international and regional partners has failed to reflect the gravity of the crimes.