News in Brief – 07 June 2016 (PM)

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A busy street in in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: World Bank/Simone D. McCourtie

"Despicable terrorist attack" in Istanbul condemned by UN chief

A reported car bombing in the centre of Istanbul, Turkey, that left at least 11 people dead and dozens injured has been condemned as a "despicable terrorist attack" by the UN Secretary-General.

So far no group has claimed the attack, but it's the fourth major terrorist assault in Turkey's largest city this year.

The bombing on Tuesday morning targeted a police bus close to the city's historic Beyazit Square neighbourhood, which is popular with tourists.

Here’s UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric:

"The Secretary-General hopes that the perpetrators of this despicable terrorist attack will be swiftly identified and brought to justice. He extends his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a speedy recovery. The United Nations stands in solidarity with the people and Government of Turkey."

"Credible reports" of abuse by Iraqi forces against civilians fleeing Fallujah

There are "credible" and "distressing" reports of civilians fleeing the terrorists who control the Iraqi city of Fallujah, only to face abuse at the hands of government-led forces.

That's according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who said on Tuesday that especially men fleeing the city faced "double jeopardy".

Fallujah has been controlled by the terrorist group Daesh since 2014, and government forces, including Shiite militia, have begun a campaign to retake it, although around 50,000 civilians remain trapped.

UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said the High Commissioner was urging the Iraqi government to act against any abuses being carried out:

"Eyewitnesses have described how armed groups operating in support of the Iraqi security forces are intercepting people fleeing the conflict, separating the men and teenage boys from the women and children, and detaining the males for 'security screening', which in some cases degenerates into physical violations and other forms of abuse, apparently in order to elicit confessions."


Electoral calendar presented in Haiti


From Haiti, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the country, Sandra Honoré, and other members of the so-called “Core Group” took note of the presentation of the electoral calendar by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

The "Core Group" remains deeply concerned that the decision to rerun the Presidential elections will have financial consequences and prolong the electoral process started in 2015.

It reiterates that it is the responsibility of an elected government to address the socio-economic and humanitarian challenges Haiti faces.

The “Core Group” urges all Haitian political players to scrupulously respect the electoral calendar to organize transparent and equitable elections in an impartial manner, enabling Haitians to elect a President of Republic, parliamentary representatives and municipal and local authorities, as provided by the Haitian Constitution.

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

Duration: 2’24″

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