News in Brief 22 June 2017 (AM)

22 June 2017

Iraqi children trapped in “endless cycle” of violence and poverty: UNICEF

Iraqi children are trapped in “an endless cycle of violence and increasing poverty,” according to a new UN Children’s Fund report.

The UNICEF assessment, “Nowhere to Go,” examines how children have been effected by the uptick in violence since the ISIL, or Daesh, terrorist insurgency began in 2014.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq, said that children across the country “continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence.”

“They have been killed, injured, abducted, and forced the shoot and kill, in one of the most brutal wars in recent history,” he added.

In west Mosul, where Daesh continues to use thousands of civilians as human shields in a last-ditch effort to avoid defeat, children are being deliberately targeted and killed to punish families and deter them from fleeing, said UNICEF.

In less than two months, 23 children have been killed and 123 injured in that part of the city alone.

Morocco’s decision to admit stranded Syrian refugees welcomed by UNHCR

Morocco’s decision to admit a group of Syrian refugees stranded at the border with Algeria since late April, has been welcomed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The remaining group of 28 refugees were collected by Moroccan police on 20 June and transported to the capital, Rabat.

In a press release, the Moroccan authorities said that King Mohammed had called for them to be admitted on humanitarian grounds, and to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

UNHCR said it was a gesture “in keeping with the traditions of hospitality demonstrated by countries across the region.”

The agency said it was working with authorities to find a durable solution to the plight of the vulnerable group of refugees.

Egypt must halt “unfair” executions: UN human rights experts

The executions of six men in Egypt, sentenced to death in trials that failed to meet international standards of fairness, should be halted, according to a group of UN rights experts.

The independent experts said in a press release that the death sentences had been upheld in court on 7 June, on the basis of forced confessions that were later retracted.

All six men are reported to have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment before being transferred to prison, where they were held in inhumane conditions.

“Capital punishment may only be carried out after a legal process that gives all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial,” the four human rights Special Rapporteurs stressed.

The men were originally convicted in 2015 of terrorism-related charges, specifically in connection with the killing of a police officer the previous year.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'14"


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