News in Brief 31 August 2015 (AM)

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Relatives of abducted children speak out for the disappeared in Lamwo district, northern Uganda. File Photo: IRIN/Philippa Croome

Expert group to discuss new UN principles against enforced disappearance

Guidelines to protect individuals from secret detention, enforced disappearance and torture will be under discussion when a UN expert group meets this week in Geneva.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention says these basic principles, which will cover almost all situations of detention, will become "a key instrument" in international human rights law.

They will be presented to the Human Rights Council in mid-September.

The experts will also review more than 30 cases of alleged deprivation of liberty from 21 countries during their latest session which runs through Friday.

Iraq urged to prosecute people who threaten demonstrators and journalists

Authorities in Iraq are being urged to prosecute anyone who attempts to interrupt peaceful demonstrations, including preventing journalists from doing their work.

The call comes from Ján Kubiš, head of the UN mission in the country, UNAMI, who has applauded the "peaceful and dignified manner" in which recent protests in the central and southern provinces have been carried out.

He also praised the Iraqi Security Forces for their professionalism in maintaining order during these demonstrations.

However, the UN official expressed concern over reports that "unknown entities" have been intimidating, assaulting and threatening demonstrators and journalists.

He described these reports as "disturbing."

New legislation to protect young offenders in Kiribati

A new bill in Kiribati that will keep young offenders out of adult prisons has been welcomed by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The Juvenile Justice Act will ensure children and youth charged with committing an offence are respected and protected, the agency said.

It also provides opportunities for the community to participate in their rehabilitation and reintegration.

Ten young offenders in the Pacific country are currently being held in adult prisons, according to UNICEF.

Siobhán Garside, United Nations.

Duration: 1’43″

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