GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. human rights watchdog called on the Obama administration on Thursday to limit its use of drones targeting suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban militants and to curb U.S. surveillance activities at home and abroad.
U.S. drone strikes have led to excessive civilian casualties and unrestricted data collection has eroded the right to privacy, the U.N. Human Rights Committee said in its first report on Washington’s rights record since 2006.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Thursday launched an inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during their conflict that ended in 2009, saying the government had failed to investigate properly.
“The international community has become increasingly concerned by the continued lack of progress in achieving reconciliation, justice and accountability for serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” Paula Schriefer, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, told the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. human rights watchdog called on the Obama administration on Thursday to review its use of drones to kill suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban militants abroad and reveal how it chose its targets.
In its first report on Washington’s rights record since 2006, it also called for the prosecution of anyone who ordered or carried out killings, abductions and torture under a CIA program at the time of President George W. Bush, and to keep a promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korea said on Tuesday that talks with Japan this month should include a demand for compensation for wartime Korean sex slaves and not only the issue of Japanese abducted decades ago which it considers closed.
But So Se Pyong, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said he hoped that the “sensitive” high-level talks being held in Beijing on March 30-31, the first in more than a year, would yield “positive results” for the people of both countries.
GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. human rights investigator accused Israel on Friday of “ethnic cleansing” in pushing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem and cast doubt that the Israeli government could accept a Palestinian state in the current climate.
He spoke against a backdrop of deadlocked peace talks and accelerating Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem which Palestinians say is dimming their hope of establishing a viable state on contiguous territory.
GENEVA (Reuters) – For the first time, Syrians were the biggest group seeking asylum in industrialized countries last year, as the impact of fighting in the country spread beyond the turbulent region, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.
A record number of asylum requests by Syrians and Russians in 2013 raised the total number received in 44 rich countries to it highest since 2001, the agency said. The total of 612,700 claims rose 28 percent from the year before.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States and European Union (EU) accused China on Tuesday of using arrests and harassment to silence human rights activists, also voicing consternation at the death in custody of a prominent dissident.
During the debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council, China’s delegation responded that Cao Shunli had died in hospital last week of tuberculosis and that the Chinese people enjoyed the right to freedom of expression.
GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. investigators said on Tuesday they had expanded their list of suspected war criminals from both sides in Syria’s civil war and the evidence was solid enough to prepare any indictment.
The U.N. inquiry has identified individuals, military units and security agencies as well as insurgent groups suspected of committing abuses such as torture and bombing civilian areas, it said in its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights investigators have added to their list of suspected war criminals from both sides in the Syrian civil war after a new round of atrocities in recent weeks, its head said on Tuesday.
The U.N. inquiry has identified military units and security agencies as well as insurgent groups suspected of committing abuses, Paulo Pinheiro told the Human Rights Council.
GENEVA (Reuters) – China dismissed a U.N. report alleging North Korea has committed crimes against humanity, effectively confirming the fears of human rights advocates that Beijing will shield its ally Pyongyang from international prosecution.
The report, published in February, accused the reclusive country of mass killings and torture comparable to Nazi-era atrocities and said officials, possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un himself, should face the International Criminal Court (ICC).