Human Rights 

Bachelet asks for $400.5 million to support full ‘agenda of rights’

Presenting the Office’s (OHCHR) Annual Appeal, the High Commissioner said that “amidst a period of massive global upheaval and crisis, this funding will be critical to protect, promote and uphold human rights in every corner of the world.” For Ms. Bachelet, “no matter how free individuals are to speak out and protest, they are not truly free if they lack food, education or adequate housing.” Because of that, she assured, “the protection and promotion of economic, cultural and social rights will continue to be another core focus” of OHCHR’s work.  As the world enters the…

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Human Rights 

UN rights office warns over violent escalation in Yemen and beyond

“We are deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of the conflict in Yemen. Overnight, air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition on the capital, Sana’a, are reported to have left at least five civilians dead,” said OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. “According to preliminary information, those killed were five members of the same family, including two women and a child, when a house was hit in Ma’in district of the city at around 9.25pm.” The air attacks on Yemen’s capital city followed missile and drone strikes on coalition partner the United Arab…

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Human Rights 

Sudan urged to stop unnecessary use of force against protestors

Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said the human rights situation in Sudan continues to be of serious concern, with peaceful protestors killed or injured on a near-daily basis, as well as an intensifying clampdown on critics and independent journalists.  🇸🇩 #Sudan continues to be of serious concern, with peaceful protesters killed or injured on a near-daily basis by security forces, as well as a clampdown on critics & journalists. Unnecessary & disproportionate use of force + arbitrary arrests must stop: https://t.co/CSsKKQHm7Q pic.twitter.com/qCpvUFXlZ4 — UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) January 18, 2022 She cited…

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Human Rights 

UN rights office warns against rising hate speech in Western Balkans

Spokesperson Liz Throssell said OHCHR was deeply concerned by recent incidents in both countries which saw individuals glorify atrocity crimes and convicted war criminals, target certain communities with hate speech, and, in some cases, directly incite violence.  The fear is that such acts – fuelled by continued inflammatory, nationalistic rhetoric and hate speech of some politicians – will increase this year, ahead of elections.  “As we have repeatedly highlighted, the rise in hate speech, the denial of genocide and other atrocity crimes and the glorification of war criminals in the…

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Human Rights 

Conviction of top Syrian intelligence official ‘a landmark leap forward’

The man, known as Anwar R, was charged with complicity in the torture of thousands of people between 2011 and 2012 in the Al-Khatib Branch of Syrian General Intelligence in the capital, Damascus.   Renewed spotlight on atrocities  UN Human Rights High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet said his trial cast a much-needed renewed spotlight on the torture and inhuman treatment countless Syrians suffered in detention facilities.  “It is a landmark leap forward in the pursuit of truth, justice and reparations for the serious human rights violations perpetrated in Syria over more than…

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Human Rights 

Eight Afghan students die in explosion outside school

The explosive remnant of war that detonated near a school on Monday also left four other children injured who had been attending class. All twelve were boys. UNICEF’s acting representative in the country, Alice Akunga, described the incident as underlining the importance of the international community providing more support for Afghanistan, so authorities can “clear explosive ordnance and remnants of war”. “Equally important is to educate children and their communities about the risks and the preventive measures to take”, she added. UNICEF expressed its deepest sympathies to the families of…

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Human Rights 

Rights experts condemn ‘unrelenting human rights violations’ at Guantánamo Bay

The detention camp, sited within a US naval base on the island, was set up in 2002 to house prisoners captured in Afghanistan, and at its peak housed some 780 people, most of whom were detained without trial. Of the 39 detainees still held at Guantánamo , only nine have been charged, or convicted of crimes. Between 2002 and 2021, nine detainees died in custody, two from natural causes and seven reportedly committed suicide. None had been charged or convicted of a crime. In a statement released on Monday to coincide…

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Human Rights 

55 journalists killed in 2021, impunity ‘alarmingly widespread’ – UNESCO

Impunity is “alarmingly widespread”, said the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  “Once again in 2021, far too many journalists paid the ultimate price to bring truth to light”, said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.   “Right now, the world needs independent, factual information more than ever. We must do more to ensure that those who work tirelessly to provide this can do so without fear.”  Although the number of victims stands at its lowest for a decade, UNESCO underlined the many dangers that reporters face in trying to cover stories and expose wrongdoing.   In 2021, as in previous years, journalists faced high rates of imprisonment, physical attack, intimidation and harassment, including when reporting on protests.  No distinction  Women journalists continue to be…

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Human Rights 

World Braille Day: Pandemic shows importance of information access for all

Braille is a tactile language used by blind and partially sighted people. Combinations of raised dots represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols, so that books and periodicals can be read through touch.     There is no substitute for the ability to read. On #WorldBrailleDay, let’s recognize the contribution of Braille as a tool for ‘freedom of expression, access to information and social inclusion’. This has never been truer than in the times of isolation brought on by #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/bkhWp2DgMz — UN GA President…

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Human Rights 

From the Field: Picturing a thirsty earth

During a protest rally supporting Belarus’ opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova, local women resist police attempts to detain them., by © EPA/Yauhen Yerchak Photography4Humanity, a UN-supported initiative, calls on amateur and professional photographers from around the world to bring to life the power of human rights through their images, and inspire people to get involved and take a stand. Yauhen Yerchak’s photo, “Protest Has a Woman’s Face”, was one of the finalists. Taken during a protest rally in Belarus, it captures the fragility and power of a group of Belarusian women…

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