GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Tuesday denounced “shockingly” long prison terms imposed by Thailand for insulting the monarchy and urged authorities to amend the law and release those convicted.
Thai military courts on Friday jailed two people for insulting the monarchy, one for 30 years and the other for 28, the heaviest sentences for the crime in Thai history, lawyers and a legal monitoring group said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Yemen is “crumbling” under a deepening humanitarian crisis after months of civil war, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday, and a U.N. investigator said sieges imposed by combatants were causing starvation.
ICRC President Peter Maurer, ending a three-day visit to the Arabian Peninsula country, called for free access to deliver life-saving food, water and medicines, while urging the warring parties to work toward a negotiated solution.
ATHENS/GENEVA (Reuters) – Greece’s infrastructure cannot handle the thousands of people landing on its shores from places like war-torn Syria and Afghanistan and needs European Union help, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday.
“Now is the time to see if the EU is the EU of solidarity or an EU that has everyone trying to protect their borders,” he said after a meeting with ministers dealing with the influx.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations refugee agency called on Greece on Friday to take control of the “total chaos” on Mediterranean islands where thousands of migrants have landed.
European Union member states must also do more to share the burden of Greece, where 50,000 people arrived in July alone, said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR director for Europe, after visiting the Greek islands of Lesbos, Kos and Chios.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The remains of two young Japanese climbers missing on the Matterhorn mountain since a 1970 snow storm in the Swiss Alps have been identified through DNA testing of their relatives, police said on Thursday.
Human bones spotted by a climber last September on a shrinking glacier at an altitude of 2,800 meters were sent to the medical examiner for identification, cantonal (state) police in the Valais said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The top U.N. human rights official called on Iran on Wednesday to release a spiritual figure sentenced to death at the weekend and end its longtime “problematic” use of executions.
Iran’s human rights record is under increasing international scrutiny following a deal last month with world powers in which Tehran will see economically crippling sanctions against it lifted in exchange for curbing its disputed nuclear program.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Guinea and Sierra Leone each recorded a single cases of Ebola in the past week, putting a year-end goal of ending the deadly epidemic within reach, although risks remain, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Tight surveillance and tracing contacts of infected people remain crucial, WHO Assistant-Director Bruce Aylward said. They are especially challenging during the heavy rains in August.
GENEVA, July 23 (Reuters) – A United Nations watchdog urged
Canada on Thursday to investigate alleged human rights abuses by
its mining companies abroad and launch an inquiry into the high
number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee examined Canada’s record in
upholding civil and political freedoms as part of a regular
review of seven countries during its four-week session.
GENEVA, July 20 (Reuters) – Nearly 20 million people were
forced to flee their homes due to floods, storms and earthquakes
last year, a problem likely to worsen due to climate change, but
which could be eased by better construction, a report said on
Asia is particularly prone to natural disasters, accounting
for almost 90 percent of the 19.3 million displaced in 2014, led
by typhoons in China and the Philippines, and floods in India,
the Norwegian Refugee Council said.
MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil gave a pure and poignant concert at Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival on Wednesday, celebrating decades of Brazilian music and friendship.
The pair of singer-songwriters sat on a bare stage at Stravinski Auditorium, each playing an acoustic guitar, but without a back-up band, throughout the 100-minute concert that included two encores.