Europe

Alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader a ‘grave concern’, says chemical weapons watchdog

The allegation that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a Cold War-era nerve agent is “a matter of grave concern”, the head of the UN-backed Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Thursday. 

Belarus must stop torturing protesters and prevent enforced disappearances

Independent UN human rights experts on Tuesday called on Belarus to stop torturing detainees and bring to justice police officers who have reportedly humiliated and beaten protestors in their custody, as mass demonstrations over the disputed 9 August presidential election continue for a fourth week. 

UN agencies call for urgent disembarkation of hundreds rescued in the Mediterranean

Hundreds of rescued migrants and refugees currently on board three vessels in the Central Mediterranean, some of whom have been stuck at sea for weeks, must be brought to shore immediately, two UN agencies said on Saturday.

Bosnia and Herzegovina should recognise sex crime survivors’ rights, say experts

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, tens of thousands of victims of sexual violence committed during conflict in the 1990s still await justice, UN-appointed rights experts said on Wednesday.

Belarus crisis: Top UN official concerned over torture allegations

In the wake of ongoing electoral-related unrest in Belarus, the top UN official in the country has requested an urgent meeting with authorities focused on the issue of human rights, according to a statement from her offic

UN chief: Belarusians must be able to exercise their ‘civil and political rights’

Closely following the developments in Belarus, Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement on Friday underlining the importance of enabling all Belarusians to “exercise their civil and political rights”. 

Interception no solution to address migrants crossing English Channel

Intercepting boats full of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel, is not the solution to deter them from attempting to reach the United Kingdom, UN agencies have stressed, warning that deployment of large naval vessels to block small, flimsy dinghies could lead to fatal incidents.

Belarus: UN rights chief condemns violence against protesters, calls for grievances to be heard

The flow of free information is “crucial” in a democratic society, the UN human rights chief said on Wednesday, spotlighting the landlocked eastern European nation of Belarus, “especially in a context of crisis and social unrest”.

Belarus: UN chief following post-election developments ‘with great concern’

The UN Secretary-General has appealed for restraint in Belarus, where ongoing clashes between police and demonstrators continue following disputed elections held on Sunday.

Protect people ‘fleeing war, violence’, UN refugee agency urges Poland 

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Friday encouraged Poland to fall in line with its international obligations, and allow asylum seekers access.