GENEVA (Reuters) – Venezuela’s judiciary is persecuting students, dissidents and independent judges while turning a blind eye to most crimes in a country with one of the world’s highest murder rates, an international human rights watchdog said on Thursday.
About 1,500 students face prosecution after three months of street protests this year with no evidence they took part in any criminal act, including about 160 still behind bars, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Switzerland is working hard to prevent ill-gotten assets of corrupt leaders from reaching Swiss bank coffers and an international clampdown on tax evasion could help the campaign, a senior Swiss foreign ministry official said on Wednesday.
Swiss authorities are already working closely with Egyptian counterparts on recovering nearly 700 million Swiss francs ($781.51 million) stashed by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and aides, said Valentin Zellweger, director of the foreign ministry’s international public law department.
GENEVA/CONAKRY (Reuters) – Guinea’s capital Conakry has recorded its first new Ebola cases in more than a month, while other previously unaffected areas have also reported infections in the past week, according to the World Health Organization.
The spread of the two-month-old outbreak, which Guinean authorities had said had been contained, risks further complicating the fight against the virus in a region already struggling with weak healthcare systems and porous borders.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations watchdog on torture urged the Vatican on Friday to cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting all cases of suspected sexual abuse by pedophile priests and to set up its own individual complaints mechanism.
Rape and sex crimes can amount to torture or cruel treatment and the Vatican must prevent and punish such abuses, the U.N. Committee against Torture said. It had already found that sexual abuse amounted to torture in some 50 countries, officials said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations torture watchdog called on the Vatican on Friday to cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting all cases of suspected sexual abuse by pedophile priests and to set up its own independent complaints mechanism.
It was the second time this year that a U.N. human rights body has criticized how Roman Catholic officials have handled the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by priests.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The Red Cross said on Wednesday it begun a major distribution of emergency rations on both sides of the battle lines around the divided northern Syrian city of Aleppo, its first since October.
Syria’s government finally gave approval this week for the plan, submitted in January, to feed 60,000 displaced people in rural areas, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The Red Cross has begun a “major distribution” of emergency food rations on both sides of the front lines in the Syrian city of Aleppo, its first since October, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told Reuters on Wednesday.
The Syrian government finally gave approval this week for the plan, submitted in January, and the operation to feed 60,000 people in the divided northern city is being carried out with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, ICRC President Peter Maurer said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The Red Cross appealed on Thursday for greater access to civilians in rebel-held and besieged areas of Syria where the humanitarian situation is “catastrophic”, particularly in the divided northern city of Aleppo and in suburbs of Damascus.
Basic services and infrastructure in Syria are near collapse and the economy is at a standstill after three years of conflict, with millions dependent on food and medical supplies that are not reaching the most desperate, the aid agency said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Huge yellow and blue diamonds are expected to fetch strong prices at Geneva jewelry sales next week, as investors seek rare stones fresh to a healthy market, auction houses said on Wednesday.
The “Graff Vivid Yellow”, star lot at Sotheby’s on May 13, is a yellow diamond weighing 100.09 carats that was cut by the London-based top jeweler Laurence Graff.
GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from East and West will try to defuse the Ukraine crisis on Thursday in Geneva, once frequently the scene of Cold War negotiations, but will risk being upstaged by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
With Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine, prospects of significant progress at the four-way talks appear slim. By contrast, what Putin says during his annual “hotline” session with the Russian people may have far greater influence on events in Ukraine’s rebellious east.