News in Brief 21 July 2015 (AM)

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A soldier stands guard outside a polling station in Burundi's capital Bujumbura. Photo: MENUB

UN chief calls for peaceful elections in Burundi

The authorities in Burundi have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to do everything possible to ensure peaceful elections.

Voters have been going to the polls on Tuesday to vote for a new President.

There were reportedly shootings in Bujumbura which killed at least two people.

Experts call on US to allow prison visits

A UN independent expert has called on the US government to facilitate visits to the country to advance criminal justice reform.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez, said he looked forward to working with the US authorities to regulate solitary confinement.

Eighty thousand inmates in US jails are being held in cells without contact with other prisoners.

Mr Mendez said the practice of prolonged or indefinite solitary confinement inflicts "pain and suffering of a psychological nature," which is prohibited by the UN Convention Against Torture.

Over 3.1m Iraqis displaced

The number of Iraqis internally displaced by the conflict in the Middle Eastern country is now over 3.1 million people, according to the UN humanitarian office, (OCHA).

Fighting in Anbar Governorate has caused the new displacement of nearly 300,000 people from Ramadi district since April.

OCHA said that thousands are stuck between the military front lines and the checkpoints leading to safer territory.

Many people have been displaced multiple times since Iraqi forces began battling militants from the ISIL group in January last year.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’41″

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