Plus: ongoing protests in Belarus; stalled investigation into murder of Indonesian human rights defender; Saudi detainees can't see their family; over 2,400 extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh during Sheikh Hasina’s decade in power; and failed human rights promises in Zimbabwe.
US influence on human rights globally has plummeted under President Trump. If Joe Biden assumes the presidency, he will need to oversee a major transformation that shuns autocrats and puts human rights principles as a central guide for US foreign policy.
Protests are ongoing in Belarus - and so are rights violations against participants and opposition figures.
Munir, one of Indonesia’s most prominent human rights advocates, was poisoned to death on September 7, 2004, on a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam. Sixteen years later, the investigation into his murder remains stalled.
Saudi Arabia has denied some prominent detainees contact with their family members and lawyers for months. All prisoners should be allowed communication with their families and the world outside their prison cells, especially so during these trying times.
When Brad Adams, director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division, met Sheikh Hasina (current prime minister of Bangladesh) in exile in London in 2008, she thanked him for standing up for rights in her country and insisted that, if she won the following year’s election, she would end extrajudicial killings. During her decade in power, Bangladeshi security forces have allegedly extrajudicially killed over 2,400 people.
Another president who has not acted on his promises is Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Zimbabwean president was sworn in two years ago, and his government has made little progress since then in promoting and protecting human rights.