GENEVA (Reuters) – Sri Lanka must investigate reports of secret places of detention and set up a “credible and independent” body to clarify the fate of people missing since the long war that ended in 2009, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
Some Tamils allege that the military maintains detention centers and tortures former Tamil rebels who surrendered after defeat. The military has rejected the charge. Tamils who went missing in the war’s final phase are alleged to range from many thousands to a few hundred.
GENEVA, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization
said on Wednesday that all people with the HIV virus should be
given anti-retroviral drugs as soon as possible after diagnosis,
meaning 37 million people worldwide should be on treatment.
Recent clinical trials have confirmed that early use of the
drugs extended the lives of people with HIV and reduced the risk
of transmitting the disease to their partners, the WHO said in a
statement expanding current guidelines to its 194 member states.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels “most likely” committed war crimes including mass killings of civilians during their long conflict that should be prosecuted by a special court with international judges, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
Despite pledges by the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena to pursue accountability domestically, the criminal justice system is not up to the huge task alone, said the report by the U.N. human rights office.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Aid agencies said on Tuesday they deeply disappointed by the failure of European Union ministers to reach a final consensus on a plan to share out 120,000 refugees, warning it could lead to further deaths in the Mediterranean.
A majority of EU interior ministers, meeting in Brussels on Monday, agreed in principle to share out 120,000 asylum seekers on top of about 40,000 distributed on a voluntary basis so far. But details of the deal, to be formalised on Oct. 8, were vague with several ex-Communist central European states still rejecting mandatory quotas.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s new government said on Monday it was setting up a South Africa-style truth and reconciliation commission to look into atrocities during its long civil war, as it came under renewed pressure to prosecute perpetrators.
South Africa, which confronted its own apartheid-era crimes through such a body, would advise the island nation on how to use the commission to help victims and to track down missing people, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations will release a long-delayed report on Wednesday on war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war that will demand perpetrators face justice, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Monday.
The global body originally meant to release its findings in March on atrocities committed by both government and “Tamil Tiger” rebels, but agreed to hold off for six months to let a new government look into why suspects had not been prosecuted.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The top United Nations human rights official urged Europe on Monday to build on a surge of sympathy for refugees by setting up comprehensive policies to expand migration channels.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, in a speech opening the U.N. Human Rights Council, called for a halt to detention and “ill-treatment” of asylum seekers, especially children, who are fleeing war and persecution in countries including Syria.
BUDAPEST/GENEVA (Reuters) – Hungary’s prime minister angrily accused illegal migrants on Friday of “rebelling” against the rule of law in his country as security forces across Europe struggled to control record flows of hungry, scared refugees.
The United Nations called for the swift creation of large-scale reception centers in frontline states such as Hungary and Greece, and one U.N. agency warned that millions more refugees could arrive in Europe if Syria’s civil war continues to rage.
GENEVA (Reuters) – More than 430,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015, a record number that is more than double the total for the whole of last year, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday.
The United Nations refugee agency called for decent mass reception centers to be set up immediately in Greece, Italy and Hungary, on the front lines of a huge influx of refugees being received in “appalling conditions”.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations welcomed a European Union proposal on Friday to take 160,000 refugees and called for large-scale reception centers to be set up immediately in Greece, Italy and Hungary, on the front lines of a huge influx of people.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also welcomed an offer by Washington to take 10,000 Syrian refugees but said “the United States could and should do much more”.