News in Brief 28 October 2015 (PM)

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Burning barricades in Bujumbura, as turmoil erupted in Burundi. Photo: Desire Nimubona/IRIN

Security Council concerned about Burundi violence

The UN Security Council has expressed concern over growing insecurity and continued violence in Burundi.

Political unrest has killed more than 190 people there since April and caused more than 200,000 citizens to flee to neighbouring countries.

In a statement, Council members made note of the increase in human rights violations and abuses, including extra-judicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions.

They also condemned acts committed by both the security forces and militias and other illegal armed groups.

The Council urged stakeholders to resolve the crisis and engage in dialogue to prevent further suffering.

Minorities discriminated against in criminal justice system

Criminal justice systems globally, continue to discriminate against members of minority groups, a UN human rights expert has said.

Rita Izsák, UN special rapporteur on minority issues, has assessed the human rights situation of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities at various stages of the criminal justice process.

Her report lists concerns such as excessive and even lethal use of force, as well as torture or ill treatment by the police.

Minorities also face a greater likelihood of facing the death penalty.

Ms Izsák said it is important that countries address under-representation of minority groups in law enforcement, the judiciary and the legal professions.

Flu shot saves lives

Complications from influenza kill up to 500,000 people each year, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says many of these lives could have been saved by a vaccine.

The UN health agency recommends that people over 65, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and health workers should get an annual flu shot.

Influenza, or the flu, is a viral infection that brings on high fever, aching muscles, headache, discomfort and a sore throat.

It is easily transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes and can be deadly for the very young, the elderly and people with serious medical conditions.

Several European countries are this year focusing efforts on educating high-risk groups about the dangers of influenza.

For example, Estonia is targeting over-65s by sending them postcards highlighting the importance of getting the flu shot.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’24″

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