News in Brief 16 September 2015 (PM)

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Debrecen centre for asylum-seekers in eastern Hungary. Photo: IRIN

Hungary urged to change course on refugee crisis

Hungary has been urged by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to reopen its border with Croatia in order to allow unimpeded access for asylum seekers.

UNHCR chief António Guterres expressed concern over the closure of the main land route for refugees into the European Union.

He urged the authorities to allow passage for people in need of protection consistent with EU law.

Over 300,000 people seeking asylum have arrived on the continent since January.

Hungary's policy toward migrants has left thousands scattered across the Balkan peninsula seeking alternative ways to reach the EU.

Killing of Colombian journalist condemned

The murder of a journalist in Colombia on 10 September has been condemned by the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

Flor Alba Núñez Vargas, a producer for the Preferida Estero radio station, was shot dead outside the station's building in the southern city of Pitalito.

Ms Vargas was a well-known campaigner against drugs and corruption, and had received death threats over recent coverage of a criminal gang.

Reacting to the death, UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, said a free press and free society go hand in hand.

She called on the authorities to bring those responsible for her murder to justice.

Role of media essential to national reconciliation in Iraq

The press in Iraq is essential to fostering reconciliation among divided groups, according to the UN's deputy special envoy to the strife-torn nation.

Gyorgy Busztin spoke at a conference in Baghdad on how media and public opinion leaders can support national unity.

Mr Busztin said discussions at the conference were encouraging and highlighted media strategies to help advance the national reconciliation process.

Maria Carlino, United Nations.

Duration: 1’40″

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