EU Pledges to Defend Democracy: Daily Brief

The EU needs to back its values with its money; xenophobic violence against foreigners living in South Africa; apparent summary execution in Mozambique; UN inquiry finds crimes against humanity in Venezuela; trying to prevent an imminent execution in Singapore; and a rare piece of good news from Egypt.

In her "State of the European Union" speech yesterday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen set out both a much-welcome vision and promising proposals for dealing with the the bloc's internal democratic deficits. It follows a long and steady process of trying to tie EU funds to respect for core values, which now comes to a head in the next few months.

Xenophobic harassment and violence against African and Asian foreigners living in South Africa are routine and sometimes lethal, Human Rights Watch said in a reportvideo, and Witness article released today. 

Mozambican authorities should investigate the apparent summary execution of an unarmed and naked woman by men wearing army uniforms.

The United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela has concluded that Venezuelan authorities and armed pro-government groups committed egregious violations amounting to crimes against humanity.

The Singapore authorities should immediately halt the planned execution of Syed Suhail Bin Syed Zin this Friday, September 18. 

And there's a rare bit of good news from Egypt.