News in Brief 14 August 2015 (PM)

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Despite the challenging operating environment, aid agencies deliver life-saving assistance in Nyal, in Southern Unity, through air drops. File Photo: OCHA/Guiomar Pau Sole.

Humanitarian supplies reach South Sudan city

Critical supplies of medicines, fuel, food and water treatment chemicals are now reaching Malakal in South Sudan, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has reported.

This follows the lifting of restrictions last week which prevented barges and aircraft from accessing the city, located in Upper Nile State.

Thousands of people displaced by fighting have sought shelter at UN facilities in Malakal.

Relief agencies expect the numbers to rise with the rainy season.

Expert urges Brazil to address prison overcrowding, torture

Authorities in Brazil are being urged by a UN human rights expert to urgently address the issues of prison overcrowding and torture.

Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, made the call on Friday at the end of a 12-day visit to the country.

Mr Mendez had conducted unannounced visits to detention centres, police stations and other facilities, many of which he said were severely overcrowded.

The expert also said he received "credible testimonies" from inmates of torture and other mistreatment during arrest and interrogation.

"The forms of torture usually applied in those settings are certainly beatings, sometimes with truncheons; some electrocution with Taser guns, and some suffocation, either with water or with bags placed over the head."

He encouraged Brazil to show "genuine commitment to implement measures against torture."

Lack of security impacting on humanitarian access in Mali

The international community has been encouraged by a senior UN humanitarian official to remain engaged in the situation in Mali, where more than three million people are suffering from food insecurity.

Toby Lanzer, Regional Coordinator for the Sahel, on Friday concluded his first visit to the West African country.

The UN reported that insecurity is hindering access to people in need.

While inspired by the resilience of local communities, Mr Lanzer said humanitarian needs will only increase if there is no full commitment to peace and stability.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’08″

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