News in Brief 15 July 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called the Nice attack “yet another blow aimed at the heart of humanity by extremists”. Photo: UN Photo

Zeid: response to Nice attack “needs to be highly sophisticated”

The response to terrorism after the attack in the French city of Nice needs to "carefully calculated" and not simply about greater security measures, the UN's human rights chief said Friday.

Zeid Ra'ad Hussein's comments come after a lorry ploughed into a crowd taking part in national celebrations in France on Bastille Day, killing 84 people.

Rupert Colville is spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:

"While the motives driving yesterday's killer in Nice are still to be established, in general we are confronted by an ideology that seems to be creating an endless supply of fanatics prepared to kill for the sake of killing. And our response needs to be carefully calculated and highly sophisticated. It is not simply about heightened security, it is about deflating the ideology itself until it dwindles back to where it belongs — which is nowhere."

In his statement, High Commissioner Zeid said he was appalled by Thursday's attack, noting that it followed countless others in Baghdad, Brussels, Dhaka, Istanbul, Medina and Orlando.

Hungary's restrictions on refugees “at variance with international law”: UNHCR

New restrictions on refugees put in place by Hungary are contrary to international humanitarian law, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said Friday.

Under new legislation, border controls have been extended eight kilometres inside Hungary and police can now take people back across the border so they can apply for asylum.

UNHCR reports that there are now 1,400 migrants and refugees – mainly women and children – waiting to do this on the Hungarian-Serbian border.

Here's UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler:

"Asylum seekers are then instructed to go to one of the transit zones along the border to submit an asylum claim. Currently, only two transit zones are functional along the 175 kilometre-long Serbian-Hungarian border at Roszke and Tompa, where on average only 15 individuals are admitted in each transit zone per day."

The agency is also concerned about ongoing reports of violence against those trying to enter Hungary, including alleged bites by unleashed police dogs, pepper spray and beatings.

Growing concern for 150,000 people trapped in Syria's eastern Aleppo: OHCHR

Concern is growing in Syria for around 150,000 people trapped in Aleppo amid advances by government troops, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned.

In a statement issued on Friday, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also expressed alarm about another 50,000 civilians trapped in two other towns, Daraya and Manbij.

And he called for those fighting elsewhere in Syria "to take great care not to harm the many hundreds of thousands" of people trapped in their homes.

Speaking in Geneva, Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, said that families in Manbij are unable to access cemeteries and have resorted to keeping the bodies of the dead in their gardens.

In Daraya, which OHCHR says has been under government siege since 2012, 8,000 civilians are now believed to be living in a one kilometer squared area "of urban ruins, with no electricity and virtually no access to water or food".

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 3’10″

 

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