Middle East

UN calls on Saudi Arabia to release jailed human rights defenders, including women activists

Concerned over the continuing arrests and “apparently arbitrary detentions” of human rights defenders – including campaigners who lobbied for an end to the ban on women driving – the United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) on Tuesday called on Saudi Arabia to “unconditionally” release all those being held.

UN human rights body strongly condemns recent ‘shocking attacks’ against civilians in south-west Syria

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a strongly-worded statement on Tuesday, denouncing last week’s brutal killings and raids by members of the terrorist group ISIL, in Sweida, south-west Syria.

Local aid workers in Syria are the ‘backbone of response’, says top UN official, urging better protection as fighting rages

Delivering life-saving assistance to millions of women, children and men in Syria, local aid workers need to be safer and better protected, said the top United Nations humanitarian official in the country on Monday.

Hudaydah ‘one airstrike away from unstoppable epidemic’: UN humanitarian chief in Yemen

The crucial Yemeni port city of Hudaydah, which has been living under fire from pro-Government forces for weeks now, could be just “one airstrike away from an unstoppable epidemic”, said the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in the country on Sunday.

‘Warehouses emptying’ amid growing humanitarian needs in south-west Syria

More than 180,000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in south-west Syria after weeks of escalating hostilities that have restricted aid access to the area, the UN said on Friday.

UN human rights experts urge Egypt to release jailed poet who penned hit protest song

Galal El Behairy has been held in detention since February after penning a song critical of Egypt’s policies, prompting United Nations human rights experts on Thursday to urge the government to release him immediately.

UN chief strongly condemns terrorist attacks in south-west Syria

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, has strongly condemned multiple suicide bombings on Wednesday in the government-held town of Sweida, in Syria’s south-west, which killed and injured scores of civilians.

UN human rights chief denounces grave 'assaults' on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

From arbitrary detentions and deliberate deprivation, to attacks against civilians and forced displacements, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, expressed “acute concerns” on Monday over the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Essential services on verge of shutdown in Gaza as emergency fuel set to run out

Supplies of emergency fuel provided by the United Nations for critical facilities in Gaza are being fast depleted, a senior UN relief official there warned on Sunday.

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

One year after the liberation of Iraq’s Mosul city from a terrorist group, the United Nations on Saturday marked the anniversary with “many humanitarian achievements” and “a multitude of challenges”.