Recruiting Child Soldiers in Syria: Daily Brief

Plus: Environmentalists face arbitrary detention in Iran; post-election violence in Zimbabwe; OAS special commission for Nicaragua; Brazilian activist faces death threats; four years since ISIS attack to Iraqi Yezidis; Malaysian activist held unlawfully in Thailand; time for the EPP to stand up to Orbán; and Xi Jinping silencing critics.

The People’s Protection Units (YPG), the largest member of the Syrian Democratic Forces military alliance in northeast Syria, has been recruiting children, including girls, for military training and using some in hostilities. Most of them are being taken from the vulnerable families in displacement camps they control. 

Eight environmental activists face arbitrary detention in Iran. They have been in continued detention for six months despite not being charged with recognizable crimes. Since January 2018, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence organization has arrested at least 50 environmental activists across the country. 

At least 6 people died in post-election protests in Harare on August 1, 2018. The Zimbabwe government should immediately and impartially investigate the use of force by security forces to clamp down on post-election violence. Soldiers and anti-riot police were implicated in the deaths of at least six people and serious injuries to dozens more.

The government in Nicaragua is carrying out a brutal crackdown on protesters, with nearly 300 people killed and thousands injured. The Organization of American States’ (OAS) permanent council has now established a working group to promote the national dialogue in Nicaragua.

 A leading Brazilian reproductive rights activist, Debora Diniz, is facing death threats ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on access to abortion. Brazilian authorities should promptly and thoroughly investigate the threats and make sure adequate steps are being taken to ensure Diniz’s safety and freedom of expression. 

Four years ago today, between 2,000 and 5,500 Yezidis were killed by an ISIS attack on the Iraqi city of Sinjar. Today, at least 90 percent of the Yezidi population has been forced to flee and see how little is done to protect their relatives' mass graves in Iraq

Thai authorities should release or charge with a credible offense an ethnic Malay Muslim human rights activist who has been detained in the deep south. Authorities arrested Burhan Buraheng under martial law provisions, and have held him in a military camp without access to a lawyer or effective safeguards against mistreatment.

Swedish MEP Anna Maria Corazza urges the European People’s Party and it's leaders to stand up to Hungary's Viktor Orbán: “It is crucial that the EPP does not allow the rule of law to become politicized.”

Sun Wenguang, a Chinese rights activist, was silenced by the the Chinese police while talking about China's human rights record to a reporter from VOA Mandarin. The Chinese security forces entered his residence and forced him to resume the conversation in another example of Xi Jinping's attempt to silence critics.