GENEVA (Reuters) – Major human rights groups called on Pakistan on Wednesday to protect a prominent lawyer and investigate allegations that Pakistani military and intelligence agencies have plotted to kill her.
Asma Jahangir, who has pursued human rights cases at home and abroad for more than 30 years, told Pakistani television on Monday that she had learned from a credible source about a planned assassination attempt by the highest levels of the security establishment.
GENEVA, June 5 (Reuters) – Syria has agreed to allow the
United Nations and international agencies to expand
humanitarian operations in the country, where at least 1 million
people need assistance after 15 months of conflict, a senior
U.N. aid official said on Tuesday.
The U.N. is to open four field offices – in Deraa, Deir
al-Zor, Homs and Idlib — and Syrian officials have pledged to
accelerate the granting of visas for aid workers and customs
clearance for relief goods, he said.
GENEVA, June 5 (Reuters) – The United Nations is struggling
to deliver humanitarian aid to an estimated 1 million people in
Syria because of visa delays and the difficulty in reaching
areas ravaged by fighting, U.N. and European Union officials
said on Tuesday.
“We have the feeling that we are running behind a train of
increasing speed – the train of humanitarian suffering. So while
some progress has been achieved, the needs are deepening by the
day, there is a need to accelerate,” Claus Sorensen,
Director-General of the European Humanitarian Office ECHO, told
GENEVA, June 4 (Reuters) – Major powers must ensure that the
peace plan for Syria is implemented by both sides, but for now
international mediator Kofi Annan does not favour expanding the
ceasefire monitoring mission, his spokesman said on Monday.
Annan, who is to brief the U.N. Security Council and General
Assembly in New York on Thursday, will continue to press his
six-point plan as “the only option on the table”, spokesman
Ahmad Fawzi said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations Human Rights Council condemned Syria on Friday for last week’s massacre in the Houla region and called for a U.N. investigation to identify the perpetrators and gather evidence for possible criminal prosecution.
The 47-member forum, which held an emergency session in Geneva, adopted a resolution by a vote of 41 states in favor to 3 against – China, Cuba and Russia – with two abstentions and one delegation absent.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Syrian forces and pro-government militia accused of committing a massacre in Houla could face prosecution for crimes against humanity, the United Nations said on Friday and rights experts said Syrian authorities had directly ordered torture.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called again for the Security Council to refer Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and for world powers to help implement Kofi Annan’s peace plan to end the violence.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The top U.N. human rights body is set to call on Friday for a full U.N. inquiry into a massacre in the Syrian region of Houla after putting initial blame on government bombardment and gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said.
The 47-state forum in Geneva holds an emergency session on Friday – its fourth on Syria in a year – following last week’s slaughter of at least 108 people, nearly half of them children.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday it had made its second visit to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s former leader, detained by militia fighters in the west of the country.
“We visited him yesterday … It was a short visit by ICRC delegates including a doctor,” ICRC spokesman Steven Anderson told Reuters.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. Human Rights Council will tackle last week’s massacre of 108 civilians in Syria at a special session on Friday, the fourth in a series of emergency debates that have had little impact since the country’s crisis erupted more than a year ago.
The council will debate the “deteriorating human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the recent killings in El-Houleh”, the U.N. human rights office said in a statement, using an alternative spelling for the town of Houla.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Most of the 108 people killed in the Syrian town of Houla were civilians, nearly half of them children, and entire families were shot dead in their homes, the U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday.
Witnesses and survivors have told U.N. investigators that most victims died in two bouts of summary executions carried out by “shabbiha” militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the nearby village of Taldaou last Friday, U.N. rights spokesman Rupert Colville said.