New Report on Horrific Abuse in North Korea: Daily Brief

Unique insight into North Korea's horrible criminal justice system; activists held on blasphemy charges in Mauritania should be freed; serious rule of law concerns in Poland; more mass protests in Belarus and Thailand, and some mixed messages from Egypt's abusive police force.

North Korea's pretrial detention and investigation system is arbitrary and lacks any semblance of due process. Former detainees describe systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic conditions, and unpaid forced labor in a new Human Rights Watch report published today.

A group of activists held on blasphemy charges in Mauritania should be freed immediately, says HRW.

The ruling party in Poland has used the past five years to put the judiciary under its control, raising serious concerns about the independence of courts, judges and prosecutors.

In neighbouring Belarus thousands of people took to the streets again to protest the cruel regime of authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994.

There are also peaceful mass protests for democracy in Thailand.

A popular video making the rounds on social media right now comes from Egypt, where a bizarre parade by policemen is reminding the world of the country's appalling record towards LGBT people.