Minnesota Burning: Daily Brief

Nationwide protests against police brutality in the US; children’s drawings expose cruelty of Greece’s detention system; Hong Kong bans Tiananmen massacre vigil; Algerian authorities continue to jail journalists despite new draft constitution; Brazil urged to find alternatives to institutionalization in response to Covid-19; and LGBT rights groups urge Japan to introduce non-discrimination law ahead of Olympics. 

Nationwide protests against police brutality in the US continue. The protests, which had been ignited by a police killing of a black citizen in Minnesota, one of several in recent months, were met with increasingly aggressive police tactics. What is needed instead are meaningful reforms of policing.

Greek authorities have been detaining unaccompanied migrant children in overcrowded police cells, making them vulnerable to abuse. Two of the children who have since left for other countries, have given permission to publish their drawings about the fear and misery they experienced as part of a new #FreeTheKids campaign.

For the first time in 31 years, Hong Kong police have banned the annual vigil marking the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Thousands of people died on June 4, 1989 when China’s People’s Liberation Army cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing. Meanwhile, Hong Kong police arrested hundreds of people during protests against Beijing’s plan to press ahead with a national security law for Hong Kong.

While Algerian authorities are jailing opposition leaders and independent journalists like Khaled Drareni for “undermining national unity," Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune pledges wide consultations on a draft constitution that provides that “No press offense shall be punished by imprisonment.”

With Covid-19 infections rapidly on the rise in Brazil, people with disabilities and older people living in institutions and homes are at particular risk. A new regulation aimed at preventing the spread of the pandemic now urges authorities to look for alternatives to institutionalization.

And lastly, in a letter addressed to the Japanese government Human Rights Watch along with Athlete Ally and nearly 100 LGBT organizations led by the Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation have asked for the introduction of a non-discrimination law ahead of the Olympics. Fumino Sugiyama, a trans rights activist, and former member of Japan’s women’s fencing team, explains why.