• Justice Needed for Killings and Rapes in Stadium in 2009; 

  • Budget Cuts in US Put Public Housing Tenants at Risk;

  • Syrian Refugee Apparently Tortured to Death in Lebanon; 

  • Take Note; 

  • Quote of the Day.

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By Jan Kooy. Contact me at DailyBriefTeam@hrw.org and Twitter @kooyjan


Dear Readers, 
Andrew is still traveling today, so I will be writing today’s Daily Brief. If you have any questions email me or find me on Twitter. 



In Guinea’s capital, Conakry, family members cry after identifying the body of a relative killed on September 28, 2009, when security forces fired on opposition supporters as they marched to and later held a rally in the September 28 Stadium. The body of their relative was one of 57 dead displayed at the Grand Fayçal Mosque on October 2, 2009. © 2009 Reuters

Landmark Trial for Massacre in Guinea 

 For 13 years, people in Guinea have been waiting for justice, after a massacre in a stadium in the capital Conakry.   

But now there is good news. On Wednesday a trial will begin of 11 men who accused of responsibility for the killing of 150 peaceful protesters, and the rape of scores of women. The trial is a major step towards justice for victims.  

This is the first trial involving human rights violations on this scale in Guinea. It opens exactly 13 years to the day of the massacre. Families of the victims, lawyers, and activists have campaigned all this time for justice.  

“The opening of the trial brings the victims closer to much needed justice for the horrific crimes committed in the stadium,” says my colleague Elise Keppler, HRW’s associate International Justice director. 

Those at the stadium were protesting a bid for the presidency by the then-coup leader Moussa Dadis Camara. Several hundred members of Guinea’s security forces burst into stadium and opened fire.Witnesses have described how bodies were strewn across the field, crushed against gates, draped over walls, and piled outside locker rooms where doors had been pulled shut by the terrified few who had gotten there first. Some victims were then knifed or bayoneted to death. 

Women who were raped said they were pulled from hiding places in the stadium, including from under chairs, and raped, often by multiple men from the security forces.  

Witnesses said that four women were killed after being sexually assaulted. Security forces then engaged in an organized cover up of the crimes, sealing off the entrances to the stadium and morgues and removing bodies to bury them in mass graves.  

 “For justice to be realized, this trial should be conducted in a manner that is fair and includes the presence of the accused. Genuine, credible proceedings are needed, in which victims can participate fully in the proceedings without fears for their security,” said Keppler. 

Ramona Ferreyra looks out at the public housing development where she lives in the Bronx borough of New York. January 28, 2022. © 2022 Human Rights Watch

Budget Cuts in US Put Public Housing Tenants at Risk  

HRW has just published a 63-page report and video on the affordable housing crisis in the United States. Decades of inadequate federal funding have jeopardized living conditions of public housing residents and exacerbated the crisis.  

There has been a modest increase in investment in affordable housing programs that rely on the private sector, such as voucher and subsidy programs. HRW found that budget cuts have led to deteriorating living conditions in public housing in New York City, as well as in northern New Mexico, and have reduced the public housing stock nationwide. It also finds that other affordable housing programs, which rely on the private sector, have often failed to guarantee long-term affordability for people with the lowest incomes. 

“Compared to other federal housing programs, public housing is especially important for providing affordable homes to those with low incomes,” said Jackson Gandour, a fellow in HRW’s Economic Justice and Rights division. “Underfunding has not only put public housing tenants at risk, but it has forced many people to pay unaffordable rents on the private market as they languish on housing assistance waiting lists.” 

Bashar Abed Al Saud © 2022 Private

Syrian Refugee Apparently Tortured to Death in Lebanon 

And there’s news from Lebanon, where Syrian refugee Bashar Abed Al Saud has allegedly been tortured and murdered by security force members. Al Saud was arrested on August 30 and died from his injuries the next day. On September 2, after news of his death and photographs of his bruised body circulated in the media, the Military Prosecutor arrested and charged suspects with torture. HRW and three other organizations now call on the Lebanese authorities to transfer the prosecution of the suspects from inherently unfair military courts to the ordinary criminal courts. The military justice system lacks independence. 

Take Note 

(curated today by Alice Autin

  • Europe's far-right celebrates Meloni victory (euobserver

  • Cubans overwhelmingly approve same-sex marriage and adoption (Al Jazeera

  • International Criminal Court Trial starts against Central African Republic Rebel Leader (HRW

  • A modest, yet unprecedented, step at the UN human rights council towards accountability in China (Reuters

Quote of the day  

Today's quote is from Rachel Denber, deputy director in HRW's Europe and Central Asia Division: 

"Russia's conscription in areas of Ukraine that it's currently occupying is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions--a war crime." (Twitter


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