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Sep 1, 2014

U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on “an unimaginable scale”, with a view to holding perpetrators to account.

“We are facing a terrorist monster,” Iraq’s human rights minister, Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, told the U.N. Human Rights Council which adopted a resolution tabled by Iraq and France at an emergency sitting of the 47-member state forum in Geneva.

Sep 1, 2014

Both sides guilty of atrocities in Iraq fight: U.N. debate

GENEVA (Reuters) – Both Islamist fighters and Iraqi government forces have killed civilians and committed atrocities in three months of fighting, senior U.N. officials said in an emergency debate on the conflict on Monday.

There was “strong evidence” that fighters from Islamic State and linked groups had carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, sexual abuse and torture, U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri told the session.

Aug 29, 2014

U.N. urges U.S. to stop police brutality after Missouri shooting

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.

Aug 29, 2014

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating, the United Nations said.

The record figure is one million refugees more than a year ago, while a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that “almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives”, it said.

Aug 28, 2014

West Africa Ebola outbreak could infect 20,000 people, WHO says

GENEVA/LAGOS (Reuters) – The Ebola epidemic in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the U.N. health agency said on Thursday, warning that an international effort costing almost half a billion dollars is needed to overcome the outbreak.

As the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced its strategic plan for combating the virus, GlaxoSmithKline said an experimental Ebola vaccine is being fast-tracked into human studies and it plans to produce up to 10,000 doses for emergency deployment if the results are good.

Aug 28, 2014

WHO says Ebola outbreak could strike 20,000 people

GENEVA (Reuters) – The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday in a bleak assessment of the deadly disease.

The United Nations health agency issued a strategic plan to combat the outbreak in four West African nations where it said the actual number of cases could already be two to four times higher than the reported 3,069. The death toll stands at 1,552.

Aug 28, 2014

Islamic State commits war crimes, Syrian government using poison gas: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations accused Islamic State insurgents on Wednesday of committing war crimes including amputations and public executions, sometimes in the presence of children, and said it believed Damascus had used chlorine gas in combating its enemies.

The Sunni militants, who are bringing weapons from Iraq, have changed the power balance in Syria, consolidating control over large areas and establishing order by imposing harsh sharia law, the U.N. said in its latest report.

Aug 27, 2014

Islamic State commits war crimes, Syrian govt using poison gas – UN

GENEVA, Aug 27 (Reuters) – The United Nations accused
Islamic State insurgents on Wednesday of committing war crimes
including amputations and public executions, sometimes in the
presence of children, and said it believed Damascus had used
chlorine gas in combating its enemies.

The Sunni militants, who are bringing weapons from Iraq,
have changed the power balance in Syria, consolidating control
over large areas and establishing order by imposing harsh sharia
law, the U.N. said in its latest report.

Aug 27, 2014

Islamic State and Syrian government committing war crimes: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – The Syrian government and Islamic State insurgents are both committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in their war against each other, U.N. investigators said on Wednesday.

Islamic State forces in northern Syria are waging a campaign to instill fear, including amputations, public executions and whippings, they said.

Aug 26, 2014

Wife of imprisoned aide to Egypt’s Mursi brings case to U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – The Canadian wife of an ex-aide to Egyptian Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, whose husband has been detained more than 400 days in solitary confinement, says she has brought a case to the United Nations this week, seeking support for his release.

Khaled al-Qazzaz, secretary to Mursi on foreign affairs, was arrested in July 2013 along with the elected president and eight other senior aides when Mursi was overthrown by the army. His wife, Sarah Attia, says his case is symptomatic of a broader malaise in Egyptian society.