Defending Human Rights Work in Israel: Daily Brief

Plus: Saudi Arabia defends statement supporting China’s policies in Xinjiang; expressions of support for US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar; new war crimes in Central African Republic; Iran targets dual nationals; union leader jailed in Kazakhstan; will next UK government stand up for human rights defenders?; and six years of Australia's cruel refugee policy.

On May 2018, Israeli authorities revoked the work permit of Human Rights Watch's Israel and Palestine director, Omar Shakir, stating that he had allegedly supported boycotts of Israel. Human Rights Watch appealed the decision and a court hearing is now scheduled on July 25, when we will be joined by Amnesty to defend the right to conduct basic advocacy and human rights work in the region.

There have been growing expressions of support for US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who received shameful chants by Trump supporters asking to “send her back! send her back!” at a rally this week. Omar arrived almost 30 years ago as a child refugee in the United States.

Saudi Arabia has defended the signature of a letter supporting China’s policies in Xinjiang that ignored widespread repression of the region’s Muslims. 

A new HRW research report documents how an armed group killed 46 civilians in the Ouham Pendé province in the Central African Republic on May 21, 2019. These are war crimes that need to be effectively investigated, and those responsible must be brought to justice. 

Fariba Adelkhah, a French-Iranian anthropologist, has been arrested in Iran.  The accusations against her remain unclear, but her arrest fits an all-too-familiar pattern concerning Iran’s targeting of dual nationals.

Last month, the International Labor Organization criticised Kazakhstan for its “persistent lack of progress” on fulfilling its labor rights commitments. But the crackdown on the independent trade union movement continues: another union leader was jailed on July 17. 

The UK’s new Prime Minister should make it a priority to protect and support human rights defenders no matter where they are in the world.

For six years now, Australia has been sending asylum seekers arriving by boat overseas to Nauru and Manus Island, where they are detained in inhumane conditions.