GENEVA, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Leading human rights groups called
on Monday for an independent international inquiry to
investigate massacres of civilians and aid workers during Sri
Lanka’s three-decade civil war after accusing the government of
having failed to do so.
Families of victims, including 17 staff of Action Contre la
Faim (ACF) executed in Muttur in 2006, and five students shot
dead in Trincomalee that year, joined the call for justice.
GENEVA, Nov 2 (Reuters) – A video that appears to show
Syrian rebels killing soldiers who had surrendered probably
constitutes a war crime that should be prosecuted, the United
Nations human rights office said on Friday.
The disturbing incident looks to be the latest atrocity
committed by opposition fighters seeking to topple President
Bashar al-Assad, Rupert Colville, a U.N. rights spokesman, said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ most senior human rights official urged China on Friday to address deep-rooted frustrations that have led to desperate forms of protest by Tibetans, including some 60 self-immolations since March 2011.
Navi Pillay called on the Chinese authorities to release detainees, allow independent human rights monitors to visit Tibet, and to lift restrictions on media access to the restive Himalayan region.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Western countries kept up pressure on Sri Lanka on Thursday to prosecute killings of civilians and other crimes committed in its 30-year civil war and to investigate continuing grave violations.
Britain and the United States said that accountability must be established for serious breaches in the conflict that ended in 2009 and they voiced concern at the latest attacks on journalists, activists and lawyers.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Turkey is using a vague counterterrorism law to prosecute many activists, lawyers and journalists, often holding them for long pre-trial periods without access to a lawyer, United Nations human rights experts said on Thursday.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee said after reviewing Turkey’s record for the first time that the right to due process is sharply curbed under its 1991 Anti-Terrorism Law and that some of its provisions are incompatible with international law.
BEIRUT/GENEVA, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Damascus residents
reported artillery barrages by Syrian troops hours before
Friday’s scheduled start of a ceasefire to mark the Muslim
holiday of Eid al-Adha.
They said that on Thursday night troops stationed on a
mountain overlooking the Syrian capital targeted Hajar al-Aswad,
a poor neighbourhood inhabited by refugees from the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. There were no immediate reports
GENEVA (Reuters) – Carla del Ponte, the former United Nations war crimes prosecutor, vowed on Thursday to bring to justice high level Syrian political or military figures who may have ordered or committed war crimes.
Del Ponte, who has joined a team of U.N. human rights investigators on Syria, said she would help compile evidence and testimonies which could be used in an international tribunal or Syrian national court.
BEIRUT/GENEVA, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Syria’s army command
announced a ceasefire on Thursday to mark the Muslim holiday of
Eid al Adha but said it reserved the right to respond to any
rebel attack or moves to reinforce President Bashar al-Assad’s
A Free Syrian Army commander gave qualified backing to the
truce, proposed by U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, but
demanded Assad free detainees. An Islamist group said it was not
committed to the truce but may halt operations if the army did.
GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations war crimes investigators said on Thursday they had asked to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to seek access for their team, which has been shut out of the country since being set up a year ago.
The international inquiry, led by Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro, has been gathering evidence and testimony on atrocities committed by Syrian government forces and armed rebels in the 19-month-old conflict.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday it plans to continue providing food for 1.5 million people in Syria until at least June next year, a sign it expects hunger to persist in a protracted civil war.
The United Nations agency set the target of 1.5 million months ago and finally reached it in September, after managing to deliver food supplies to just 850,000 people in August.