News in Brief 15 November 2022

News in Brief 15 November 2022

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war tortured, ill-treated: OHCHR

Prisoners of war on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine have told UN human rights investigators that they have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment while they were held.

Matilda Bogner, Head of the UN’s monitoring mission in Ukraine, said that, over the past few months, her team had interviewed 159 prisoners of war – or POWs - both men and women, held by Russia, and 175 male prisoners of war held by Ukraine.

Ukrainian POWs have said that they were frequently subjected to prolonged beatings, threats, electric shocks and dog attacks.

Nine people are said to have died during such attacks in April this year. Both men and women prisoners reported being subjected to various forms of sexual violence.

Russian prisoners of war, held by Ukraine, told interviewers of summary executions and several cases of torture and ill-treatment.

Ms Bogner said that States must treat all prisoners of war humanely at all times, from the moment they are captured until their release and repatriation.

Call for immediate release of peaceful protesters in Iran

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, is calling for the immediate release of thousands of people who are being held in Iran, arrested for their involvement in peaceful demonstrations, amid an increasingly harsh crackdown by authorities.

OHCHR says that, as of a week ago, more than 1,000 indictments had been issued against people arrested in relation to protests in Tehran province alone. Hundreds of other indictments have been issued in the rest of the country.

On Sunday, an unnamed protester was sentenced to death having been found guilty of “waging war against God” and “corruption on earth” for allegedly damaging public property. At least nine others have been charged with offences that carry the death penalty.

OHCHR is calling on Iranian authorities to immediately impose a moratorium on the death penalty, to refrain from charging capital crimes and to revoke death sentences issued for crimes not qualifying as the most serious crimes.

Climate extremes threaten food security in Latin America and the Caribbean: WFP

As the Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end, the World Food Programme (WFP) is warning that extreme weather is threatening food security in Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the regions most affected by climate-related disasters, such as floods, storms, droughts and heatwaves.

Some 1.3 million people have been affected by hurricanes and floods in the region. In some places, harvests have been totally destroyed, exacerbating the hardship of communities affected by extreme weather events.

WFP says that it is working with governments to ensure that food stocks are as secure as possible, with proposed measures including elevating houses, and reinforcing buildings and harvests.

Stockpiling food is also deemed to be critical.

Meanwhile, UN chief Antonio Guterres, has told delegates at the G20 summit in Bali that “We are on the way to a raging food catastrophe. Without coordinated action, this year’s crisis of affordability may become next year’s global food shortage”.

Nicki Chadwick, UN News.

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  • Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war tortured and ill-treated: OHCHR
  • Call for immediate release of peaceful protesters in Iran
  • Climate extremes threaten food security in Latin America and the Caribbean: WFP
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Nicki Chadwick, UN News
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© UNICEF/Aleksey Filippov