Calling All Sports Fans: Daily Brief

Unjustly jailed football player Hakeem al-Araibi stays behind bars; Super Bowl host Georgia puts World Cup dreams at risk; will UN act to end China’s mass detentions in Xinjiang?; Pope should raise rights issues on UAE visit; Sudan’s game of catch & release; Rohingya refugees caught between India and a hard place.

Hakeem al-Araibi, the unjustly jailed football player with Australian refugee status, will stay behind bars in Thailand until April 22. That's the outcome of an extradition hearing in Bangkok this morning. Al-Araibi is at risk of deportation to Bahrain, where he has been tortured in the past. 

Atlanta, Georgia hosted the Super Bowl on Sunday, the biggest event in American Football. But will it also get to host matches during the FIFA World Cup in 2026? Read this comment by Minky Worden, HRW's expert on mega sporting events and human rights.

The United Nations Human Rights Council should adopt a resolution establishing an international fact-finding mission to Xinjiang, the region of China where up to one million Turkic Muslims are being arbitrarily detained, a group of nongovernmental organizations said in a joint statement to UN member states today.

Pope Francis is visiting the United Arab Emirates, and will have a lot to discuss with the leaders of this country. “Despite its assertions about tolerance, the UAE government has demonstrated no real interest in improving its human rights record,” says Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East and North Africa director.

Since mid-December, when protests started across Sudan, the regime has responded with violence – shooting dead at least 51 protesters, at the latest count – and beating and locking up hundreds more.

And Rohingya refugees are caught between India and a hard place. Read this op-ed by Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW's South Asia director.