News in Brief 12 August 2015 (AM)

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Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria. Photo: UN / Jean-Marc Ferre

UN envoy welcomes release of Syrian activist

The release of a human rights activist and journalist in Syria has been welcomed by the UN envoy for the country.

Mazen Darwish was freed on Monday after spending more than three years in prison.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura urged the Syrian government to release all those detained for exercising what he described as the "fundamental human right" of freedom of expression.

UNESCO condemns journalist killings in Brazil and Azerbaijan

The recent killings of two journalists—one in Brazil, the other in Azerbaijan—have been condemned by the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

Radio journalist Gleydson Carvalho was shot last Thursday while hosting his on-air programme in the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará.

UNESCO said Mr Carvalho often reported on local politics.

Rasim Aliyev, a freelance contributor to independent websites in Azerbaijan, died in hospital on Sunday from injuries sustained during a beating the day before.

UNESCO added that he also was chair of an institute for reporters' freedom and safety and had requested police protection after receiving death threats.

Agency chief Irina Bokova called on the authorities in both countries to ensure that those responsible for these deaths are brought to justice.

West African schools Ebola-free thanks to strict hygiene protocols

Strict hygiene practices have helped to keep classrooms in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone free of Ebola.

That information comes from the UN children's agency, UNICEF, which has trained tens of thousands of educators in the three West African countries in hygiene protocols.

They include taking the temperature of students and teachers at the school gate, installing handwashing stations, and distributing millions of bars of soap and chlorine.

UNICEF reports that there have been no reported cases of school infections since training began at the beginning of the year.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’55″


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