Middle East

UN rights chief calls for Turkey to probe rights abuses in northern Syria

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged Turkey to launch an immediate independent investigation into violations and abuses committed in parts of north, northwest and northeast Syria, which are under the control of its forces and affiliated armed groups. 

‘Tens of millions of Yemenis’ devastated by unabated war and COVID-19 

More than five years of war have “devastated the lives of tens of millions of Yemenis”, with experts estimating that up to one million may have been affected by COVID-19, the UN chief told the General Assembly on Thursday. 

Syria COVID spread may be much higher than figures suggest, Lowcock tells Security Council

Reports from inside Syria are pointing to a much broader spread of COVID-19 than the number of confirmed cases – currently 3,618 – suggests, the UN’s top humanitarian official says. 

Famine threat returns to Yemen, amid upsurge in fighting

The spectre of famine has returned to Yemen as donor countries fail to make good on their 2020 pledges, amidst an upsurge in fighting, fresh hurdles for aid deliveries, and ongoing efforts to nail down a nationwide ceasefire, the Security Council heard on Tuesday.

Syria: Bombshell report reveals ‘no clean hands’ as horrific rights violations continue 

Despite a reduction in largescale hostilities since a ceasefire in March, the UN Syrian Commission of Inquiry reported on Monday that armed actors continue to subject civilians to horrific and increasingly targeted abuse.

Iran: ‘Secret execution’ of champion wrestler ‘deeply disturbing’ – UN rights experts

A group of five independent UN human rights experts have strongly condemned the summary execution in Iran on Saturday of a former champion wrestler convicted of murdering a security guard during anti-government protests in 2018.

Issues surrounding Syria’s chemical weapons programme must be resolved, to restore global confidence 

Until outstanding issues related to Syria’s initial declaration of its chemical weapons stockpile and programme are resolved, the international community cannot have full confidence that its activities have ended, the UN’s top disarmament expert told the Security Council on Thursday.

Fresh war crimes fears highlighted in new Yemen report

The war in Yemen continues to ravage the country and its people, senior UN-appointed rights investigators said on Wednesday, in a call for an international probe into suspected war crimes, and sanctions against the perpetrators.  

UN agency for Palestinian refugees launches $95 million appeal to keep COVID at bay 

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a health and socio-economic emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory, the UN agency for the region warned on Friday, noting a swell of coronavirus cases in recent weeks. 

Deal to reduce recent Gaza tensions will aid fight against COVID-19

The top UN official in the Middle East has hailed an agreement to reduce the latest tensions in and around Gaza amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.