• Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh killed;
  • Increasing attacks on LGBTI people in Cameroon;
  • EU's harmful waste management policy;
  • Speak up for human rights during US/ASEAN summit.
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Prominent Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while covering the Israeli raids in the West Bank town of Jenin.  Israeli and Palestinian authorities should conduct credible investigations to her killing, and ensure justice and protection for journalists.

According to a leading civil society group, there’s been an uptick in violence against LGBTI people in Cameroon. Since March 9, security forces have arbitrarily arrested at least six people and detained 11, all of them victims of group attacks, for alleged consensual same-sex conduct and gender nonconformity. “Cameroon’s law criminalizing same-sex conduct has created a climate that allows both other Cameroonians and security forces to abuse and assault LGBTI people without consequence,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, HRW’s senior Central Africa researcher.

The European Union is currently revising its Waste Shipment Regulations. Plastic dumping and burning has serious effects on health. Research has linked exposure to toxins in plastic to increased rates of cancer, neurological damage, and reproductive harms. The new draft is a step in the right direction, with some important guidelines banning illegal waste shipments and investigating waste trafficking. However, the EU parliament should take this opportunity to push for more ambitious rules in line with international and regional mandates and protect the rights to health and a healthy environment for communities around the world. 

And finally, US officials should speak openly about specific concerns in bilateral meetings with ASEAN members and in statements to the media on the May 12 US/ASEAN summit. The Myanmar military has committed mass atrocities against Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic groups, and anti-coup demonstrators. Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial executions. The one-party Vietnamese government has intensified an ongoing crackdown and imprisoned dissidents. The Biden administration should convince ASEAN’s autocrats that the alliance’s ultimate future depends on democratic reform, and justice.