A New Wave of Collective Expulsions in Greece: Daily Brief

Plus: a positive step in Sudan; Philippines use dangerous tactics to control Covid-19; a glimpse into the tragedy of Venezuelan returnees; UK to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia; Russian rights defender faces criminal charges; and the need to establish South Sudan's Hybrid Court.

Law enforcement officers in Greece have summarily returned asylum seekers and migrants at the land and sea borders with Turkey during the Covid-19 lockdown. In some cases they used violence and they often confiscated and destroyed migrants’ belongings. HRW found no evidence that authorities took any precautions to prevent the risk of transmission of Covid-19 to or among the migrants while in their custody.

There's been a positive first step in Sudan, where the Sovereign Council recently passed into law several long-awaited amendments that should improve human rights in the country. These include criminalizing female genital mutilation and abolishing the requirement for women traveling with children to get consent from a male guardian.

The Philippines is using ‘drug war’ tactics to fight Covid-19. In a bid to control the virus, police are conducting house-to-house searches and asking citizens to report others they believe are infected, tactics similar to those that have already proven catastrophic to Filipinos.

Venezuelan returnees trying to go home during the pandemic are stuck at the country's borders in terrible conditions where they risk picking up the virus.

The United Kingdom recently announced that it intends to resume approving weapons sales by British companies to Saudi Arabia - despite reams of evidence that once weapons are in the Saudi arsenal, there’s no way to be sure they won’t be used to commit war crimes in Yemen. 

In Russia, a rights defender is now facing criminal charges. The charges against Semyon Simonov follow years of harassment and intimidation for his human rights work.

And finally, South Sudanese, regional and international civil society organizations are calling on the African Union to unilaterally establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan. This is vital to ensure protection of civilians and survivors, and for families of victims to be able to seek justice for themselves and their loved ones.