GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations top human rights body agreed on Thursday to appoint a special investigator to probe digital spying and violations of online privacy.
Brazil and Germany spearheaded the resolution, which voiced deep concern over electronic surveillance and the interception of digital communications, as well as data collection by governments and private companies.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Wars in Syria and Iraq drove the number of people requesting asylum in industrialized countries to a 22-year high last year, the United Nations said on Thursday, appealing for Western nations to open their doors to more refugees.
An estimated 866,000 asylum-seekers lodged claims in 2014, a 45 percent rise from the year before and the highest figure since the start of the war in Bosnia, when the all-time high of nearly 900,000 was recorded, the U.N. refugee agency said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Fighters are increasingly targeting water and sanitation facilities across the Middle East, exacerbating severe shortages for agriculture and households, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday.
Consumption of water in the volatile region with rising populations was already at unsustainable levels in many areas hit by record-low rainfall and drought, but wars have pushed systems “close to the breaking point,” the aid agency said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The European Union (EU) joined Palestinian and Arab delegations on Monday in calling on Israel to allow a U.N. human rights investigator to visit Gaza, while the United States and Israel snubbed the debate.
Israel has not cooperated with special rapporteur Makarim Wibisono, who presented his first report to the Human Rights Council based on interviews with people in Amman and Cairo, or witnesses on video calls in Gaza.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations human rights office said on Thursday that Islamic State fighters may have committed genocide against the minority Yezidi community in Iraq as well as crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians including children.
In a report based on interviews with more than 100 alleged victims and witnesses, it urged the U.N. Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution of perpetrators.
GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. war crimes investigators for Syria said on Tuesday they were ready to share names and details from their secret lists of suspects with any prosecution authorities preparing cases.
The move could pave the way for perpetrators of killings, torture and other atrocities on all sides to be brought to account someday. The aim is to sidestep the U.N. Security Council, where Russia and China have prevented the issue being sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. human rights investigator for North Korea said on Monday that he would probe allegations of an estimated 20,000 North Koreans working in slave-like conditions abroad, mainly in China, Russia and the Middle East.
Marzuki Darusman, U.N. special rapporteur on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), told Reuters that some of the North Korean workers are reported to be in Qatar helping build facilities for the 2022 World Cup.
GENEVA, March 16 (Reuters) – Repression of Iranian women and
activists has worsened under President Hassan Rouhani despite
his reformist agenda, but Iran could act to improve its record
if it clinches a nuclear deal with major powers, a U.N. rights
investigator said on Monday.
Some 252 people have been executed in Iran already this
year, on top of 753 executions throughout last year that was the
highest annual figure since 2002, according to Ahmed Shaheed,
the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Human rights in Iran have worsened under President Hassan Rouhani despite his reformist agenda, but Tehran may take steps to improve its record if a nuclear deal is concluded, the U.N. rights investigator on Iran said on Monday.
More than 200 people have been executed in Iran already this year, in addition to 753 known executions last year, the highest annual figure since 2002, said Ahmed Shaheed, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran. About half of the executions are for drug offences.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The Red Cross has only sporadic access to areas of Iraq and Syria held by Islamic State, despite huge needs of 10 million people living under their control, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday.
Peter Maurer, in an interview marking the start of the fifth year of war in Syria, also voiced hope that a ceasefire can be clinched in Aleppo to allow more aid to be distributed in the shattered country’s second largest city.