News in Brief 24 April 2015 (AM)

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A UNHCR staff member watches as people rescued from the Mediterranean disembark from an Italian Coastguard vessel at Palermo, Sicily, on Tuesday 14 April 2015. Photo: UNHCR/F. Malavolta

"Horrific incidents" illustrate severity of human rights situation in Libya

Following the reported deaths of several hundred individuals seeking to escape the violence in Libya, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said it is shocked by the appalling loss of life in the Mediterranean Sea.

It noted that many of those fleeing Libya are migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in an extremely vulnerable situation.

OHCHR also underlined they are at risk of killings, torture, abduction, and physical assault, amidst the violence and breakdown of law and order in the North African country.

Extension of mandate to fight impunity in Guatemala welcomed UN

The extension of a mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala has been welcomed by the UN human rights office.

OHCHR said it is a clear message of the state's commitment to investigate, prosecute and dismantle criminal organizations and to strengthen the rule of law.

The announcement comes a week after the National Civilian Police dismantled a customs smuggling network, comprised of high-level current and former public officials.

Forum on the role of religious leaders in preventing atrocity crimes

The role of religious leaders and faith-based organizations in the prevention of atrocity crimes was one of the main focuses of an international conference in Fez, Morocco.

The two-day forum ending on Friday was organized in part by the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.

The UN said the meeting provided an opportunity to deepen the understanding of the causes of hate speech and incitement to violence.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations

Duration: 1’30″

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