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Prince Zeid presents global update of human rights concerns
New York, March 8 (Petra) -- High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Bin Raad, late Wednesday presented the Annual report for Human Rights and reviewed the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the latest developments in a number of world countries including Syria, Burma, Yemen , Egypt, Libya and the United States of America.

In his report, the Prince said that more than 400,000 people have reportedly been killed in the Syrian conflict, and more than a million injured, many very severely; many are children. Hundreds of thousands of people are living under sieges, the vast majority imposed by Government forces and their allies .

Over 11 million people have been forced to leave their homes, he said, adding that tens of thousands of people are detained, frequently in inhuman conditions, including torture; many others have been forcibly disappeared, it added.

Hospitals, schools and marketplaces have been massively, and in some cases, deliberately, damaged and destroyed: in 2017, one health centre was attacked every four days. My Office also documented over a thousand airstrikes and ground-based strikes in 2017, and numerous intolerable human rights violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict.

The commissioner stressed that the situation in Eastern Ghouta is legally, and morally, unsustainable.

The conflict in Yemen, the report revealed, continues to escalate and creates a humanitarian disaster of new magnitudes.

"My Office will brief this Council on Libya on 20 March. During my mission there in October I was alarmed by the near-complete lawlessness throughout the country, with almost total impunity for even the most serious crimes. I encourage all States to support the International Criminal Court's investigation into crimes against humanity committed in the country, he added." Touching on Egypt's presidential election due this month, the UN official said that people have legitimate aspirations to live in a free, inclusive and democratic country, he said, urging much greater respect for their fundamental freedoms and rights.

In the United States, he expressed his shocked by reports that migrants intercepted at the southern borders, including children, are detained in abusive conditions, such as freezing temperatures and that some young children are being detained separately from their families.

"Detentions and deportations of long-standing and law-abiding migrants have sharply increased, tearing families apart and creating enormous hardship, the report added." In addition, the US Government has terminated the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Programme, which offered adolescents and children a lifeline to safety, and put an end to Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of people. I deplore the continuing uncertainty about beneficiaries of the DACA Programme, he added.

Prince Zeid also expressed concern about the US decision to revoke the planned closure of the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, saying that indefinite incarceration in this facility, without trial and in frequently inhumane conditions, constitutes a breach of international law.

//Petra//S Kh
8/3/2018 - 11:31:09 AM

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