UN special rapporteur Callamard still ready to return to PH for “official” visit

admin   •   May 8, 2017   •   2811

MANILA  – U.N. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard is ready to return to the Philippines to investigate cases of extrajudicial killings despite Malacañang’s criticisms of her supposed surprised visit to the country on Friday to attend a drug policy forum in Quezon City.

The U.N. expert said she is waiting for the Philippine government to withdraw its conditions on her visit, namely: debating against President Rodrigo Duterte in front of the public; allowing the president to throw questions at her and lastly, requiring her to take an oath before answering the questions of government officials.

One of the forum organizers said his group believes that it seems the Palace itself does not intend to have a meaningful discussion on drug policy in the country.

“The Palace is actually the one which is blocking all efforts to have a meaningful discussion on the kind of drug policy this country actually needs,” Ma. Socorro Diokno said. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

More people are experiencing severe hunger in Democratic Republic of the Congo — UN

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2021

The United Nations has raised concerns after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a record-high level of acute hunger.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), 27.3 million people face “acute” food insecurity. There are also around seven million people who are suffering from “emergency” levels of acute hunger.

One of the factors, according to the UN, is a slump in the country’s economy as well as the effects brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Militia violence also persisted in the area for decades.

Aristide Ongone Obame, FAO Representative in DRC said social and political stability are “essential to strengthen food security and boost the resilience of vulnerable populations”.

There is also a need to boost livestock and the growing of more food.

“The main agricultural season is around the corner and there is no time to waste,” he said. -AAC

UN condemns ‘escalating violence’ after 18 died in Myanmar anti-coup protest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 1, 2021

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), more commonly known as the United Nations Human Rights Office, has condemned the ‘escalating violence’ in Myanmar after 18 were killed during an anti-coup protest on Sunday (February 28).

In a statement, Secretary-General António Guterres said he is “deeply disturbed by the increase in deaths and serious injuries.”

“The use of lethal force against peaceful protestors and arbitrary arrests are unacceptable,” he added.

Guterres also urged the international community “to come together and send a clear signal to the military that it must respect the will of the people of Myanmar as expressed through the election and stop the repression.” -AAC

UN warns against harsh treatment of protesters in Myanmar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 16, 2021

The United Nations (UN) has warned Myanmar’s military for its harsh treatment of protesters, saying that the “world is watching closely.”

In a press briefing, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that UN Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener has called on the Myanmar military to refrain from using violence and respect human rights.

“The right of peaceful assembly must fully be respected, and that demonstrators are not subjected to reprisals. She has conveyed to the Myanmar military that the world is watching closely, and any form of heavy-handed response is likely to have severe consequences,” she said.

Protests across Myanmar have grown after the military takeover on February 1 where top political leaders were arrested.

Several of the high officials detained include State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.  

There are also reports that the military use excessive force against the demonstrators.

According to the UN human rights office (OHCHR), as of February 12, more than 350 political and state officials, activists, and civil society members have been taken into custody. Several members of the media, monks, and students were also detained

“Several face criminal charges on dubious grounds, and most have received no form of due process or permitted legal representation, family visitations or communication,” according to the UN.

Burgener also reiterated UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s statement and called for a visit to Myanmar under agreeable conditions. -AAC

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