US Deporting Iraqis: Daily Brief

The US is coercing Iraqis into being returned to possible harm in Iraq; mother of sick Yemeni toddler finally allowed into US to hold her dying son; UAE's cruel prolonged imprisonment of Jordanian journalist; police killings in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state hit record high; Hungary protests; Blackwater security guard convicted of first-degree murder for Iraqi civilian killing; Myanmar should ditch its toothless international commission of inquiry into Rohingya crimes; attempted suicide of child bride in Lebanon; and Iran should investigate death of hunger strike activist. 

The US government has deported at least 30 of a planned 1,400 people originally from Iraq back to their country, in some cases threatening long imprisonment if they don’t consent, HRW revealed today. In all cases that HRW is aware of, the deportees lack valid identity documents, putting them at risk of arbitrary detention and mistreatment in Iraq.

Staying with harmful migration policies, the US has finally allowed the Yemeni mother of a toddler dying in the US to enter the country to visit him. Shaima Swileh, who currently lives in Egypt, was initially prevented from entering America by President Trump's travel ban. 

The United Arab Emirates should immediately release Tayseer al-Najjar, a Jordanian journalist who has just completed a three-year prison sentence. Al-Najjar, who was jailed under the UAE's cybercrime law after an unfair trial, must pay a substantial US$136,000 fine which he cannot afford, and as such must remain in prison another six months.

From January through November 2018, police in Brazil killed 1,444 people in Rio de Janeiro state - the highest number of police killings since the state started collecting that data in 1998. 

Protests about a controversial overtime law are continuing in Hungary. The law, which comes into force on 1 January, increases the number of overtime hours employees can be asked to work annually from 250 to 400. 

A former Blackwater security guard whose 2014 murder conviction was vacated on appeal was convicted by a US federal jury this week, ending the Justice Department’s long pursuit of accountability for a 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Baghdad that drew international condemnation during the Iraq War. 

Myanmar should disband its commission of inquiry into abuses in Rakhine state because it is clearly unwilling to seriously investigate alleged grave crimes against ethnic Rohingya. 

There are fresh calls for Lebanon's parliament to debate and pass a draft law which would finally set the country's minimum age for marriage at 18 - with no exceptions. It comes after a child bride tried to end her life by jumping from a rooftop after being divorced by her husband. 

And finally, Iranian authorities should immediately investigate the death of Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, an injustly-imprisoned activist, who died in custody after going on hunger strike. There were at least four similar prisoner deaths in Iran in 2018.