International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June, 2016
June 26, 2016

(OHCHR) – Victims of torture come from many walks of life. They are in all countries. They may be human rights defenders, migrants, journalists, persons with disabilities, indigenous people or members of minority groups or people from the LGBT community. Children, too, may be tortured – whether to obtain information, or to put pressure on their parents and communities. The work of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture indicates that today the number of children victim of torture is rising. In 2016, 5,279 child and adolescent victims of torture are estimated to be given assistance by organizations funded by the UN Fund, which represents a 35% increase compared to 2015.

 

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Central African Republic: Police Unit Killed 18 in Cold Blood
June 26, 2016

(HRW) – Members of a special anti-crime unit in the Central African Republic unlawfully executed at least 18 people and possibly more between April 2015 and March 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The former director of the unit, the Central Office for the Repression of Banditry (Office Central de Répression du Banditisme, OCRB), Robert Yékoua-Ketté, who was removed from his position on June 8, is directly implicated in 13 of the cases and should be investigated with a view to prosecuting him.

 

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Down, but not yet out
June 25, 2016

(The Economist) – On June 18th Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared that his forces had regained control of Fallujah, a stronghold seized by Islamic State (IS) two and a half years ago that lies just 60km (40 miles) from the capital, Baghdad. Yet the next day the thud of mortars and rockets could still be heard inside the supposedly liberated city, and armoured convoys were still rumbling into the fray. “Daesh is still here,” said Qusay Hamid, an Iraqi special-forces major, using the Arabic acronym for IS as he waited on a sun-baked Fallujah street to move his men into battle near a mosque.

 

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Video: Ugandan city still scarred by Lord’s Resistance Army atrocities
June 24, 2016

(France 24) – For over 20 years, the people of northern Uganda suffered at the hands of the Lord’s Resistance Army as its leader Joseph Kony fought to install a government based on the Ten Commandments. Tens of thousands of people were killed, many more injured, and between 60,000 to 100,000 children abducted – forced to become sex slaves or child soldiers.

 

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Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
June 23, 2016

(US Department of the Treasury) – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Congolese government official, Céléstin Kanyama, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by Executive Order 13671, which authorizes the designation of persons for specified conduct “contributing to the conflict” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Specifically, OFAC designated Kanyama for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, or forced displacement in the DRC, and for being a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in such conduct. As a result of today’s actions, all assets of the individual designated that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

 

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Tears of joy as rebels sign ceasefire with Colombian government
June 23, 2016

(Reuters) – Colombia’s government and leftist FARC rebels signed a historic ceasefire deal on Thursday that brought them tantalizingly close to ending the longest running conflict in the Americas. The accord, capping three years of peace talks in Cuba, sparked celebrations and tears of happiness among some in the Colombian capital. It sets the stage for a final deal to end a guerrilla war born in the 1960s out of frustration with deep socio-economic inequalities that outlived all other major uprisings in Latin America.

 

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Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on child recruitment and the reintegration of girls in DR Congo June 2016
June 23, 2016

(Child Soldiers International) – Child Soldiers International presented this report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in June 2016. It describes progress made by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in preventing child recruitment and providing reintegration assistance to girls formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups.

 

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US Congress members question Israel’s abuse of Palestinian children
June 23, 2016

(Middle East Monitor) – Members of the US Congress made an unprecedented move by calling for the appointment of “a special envoy for Palestinian youth”. In a letter to Barack Obama, US lawmakers petitioned the President to address the abuse of Palestinian children. Twenty members of the US Congress signed the letter urging the “Department of the State to elevate the human rights of Palestinian children to a priority status” and warned of the dangers in “ignoring the trauma being inflicted on millions of Palestinian children”.

 

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Saudi deputy crown prince, U.N. chief talk protecting Yemen’s children
June 23, 2016

(Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince on Wednesday and the pair discussed improving civilian protection in Yemen after a U.N. report briefly blacklisted a Saudi-led coalition for killing children. Ban removed the coalition from the blacklist earlier this month pending review after Riyadh, a major U.N. donor, threatened to cut Palestinian aid and other U.N. funding. Saudi Arabia has denied using threats, although Ban blasted Riyadh for exerting “unacceptable” pressure.

 

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FEATURE: From Joseph Kony’s ‘wife’ to peace advocate – a courageous young woman’s journey to reclaim her life
June 23, 2016

(UN News Centre) – Evelyn Amony was abducted at age 11 from her village in northern Uganda and then forced to become the “wife” of Joseph Kony – one Africa’s most feared warlords, infamous for his casual brutality, and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, the violent rebel group better known as the LRA. Ms. Amony was rescued by the Ugandan military in 2004 after 11 years of being held captive. A year later, she joined a peace delegation to negotiate an end to the LRA’s 20-year insurgency. The negotiations were not successful.

 

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