Hunger, Committee Against Torture on Cuba and Uruguay, Shireen Abu Akleh… Friday’s news

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The war in Ukraine could cause a “tsunami of hunger”

The war in Ukraine could cause a “tsunami” of hunger and mass migration to Europe, warned the executive director of the World Food Program.

David Beasley said that North Africa, the Sahel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen are already facing big problems.

“We have to give due attention to those areas as we deal with Ukraine. If not, we will have a perfect storm, a crisis on top of other crises, a tsunami within a tsunami and right now we can’t afford that”, Beasley said in his message to the G7 ministers participating in the Munich Security Conference.

The World Food Program requested the reopening of ports in the Odessa area, in southern Ukraine, so that food produced in the country can flow freely to the rest of the world.

With ports blocked by the war, millions of metric tons of grain sit in silos in Odessa and other Ukrainian Black Sea ports. There is more grain stranded on ships that cannot circulate because of the conflict.

The UN Committee against Torture asks Cuba to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for the excessive use of force and mistreatment during the social protests of July 11 and to regulate the actions of the security forces in accordance with the international standards.

Although it takes note of the State party’s rejection of these allegations, the reports received by the United Nations document ill-treatment such as beatings, insults, threats of a sexual nature, full body searches, isolation in dark cells and use of pepper spray, among others.

The Committee is also concerned about reports of summary trials without guarantees of due process, restrictions on mobility, limitations on internet access and acts of repudiation.

The United Nations has also documented cases of harassment, attacks, arbitrary arrests, imprisonment and reprisals against human rights defenders, journalists and artists, especially those considered as political opponents. The Committee “continues to be alarmed” by the information received denouncing arbitrary detentions for short periods of time, restrictions on freedom of movement, surveillance operations for the purpose of intimidation, physical attacks, “acts of repudiation” in front of homes, places of work or study of political opponents, forced exiles, and other acts of intimidation and harassment allegedly committed by agents of the National Revolutionary Police and State Security.

Regarding Uruguay, the Committee against Torture expresses its concern at the increase in the number of deaths in prisons, which was 79% in 2021.

A very high number of deaths were caused by lack of medical care and treatment for people with mental health problems.

The Committee calls on the State to ensure that all cases are investigated promptly and impartially by an independent body, which also clarify any possible responsibility of the police and prison officers in deaths.

In addition, the Committee notes with concern the information received on the Absence of efficient mechanisms for reporting acts of torture and mistreatment. As there is no crime of torture in national legislation, there is also no statistical record of prosecutions for this crime.

Police Charges During Shireen Abu Akleh’s Funeral ‘Very Shocking’ Says Guterres Spokesman

The Secretary-General’s spokesman assures that the images of the Israeli police charges during the funeral of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank are “very shocking” and reminds Israel of the obligation to respect the right to demonstrate

“We have seen the video and it is very shocking for us. We will try to gather more information about what has happened. Clearly, as in all cases, we want to ensure that the right to assemble and demonstrate is respected.”

Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the neck while covering Israeli military activities and despite wearing the vest that identified her as a journalist.

UN human rights experts assured this Friday in a statement that “the murder of Abu Akleh, who was clearly fulfilling his obligations as a journalist, may constitute a war crime.”

Since 2000, more than 40 Palestinian journalists have been killed, and hundreds have been injured or subjected to violence.

Asked about the decision of the Israeli authorities to advance plans to build more than 4,000 houses in the settlements of the occupied West Bank, the Secretary-General’s spokesman reiterated that the construction of settlements “does not help” the peace process”

“And as our special envoy made very clear, the settlements are illegal under international law,” added Farhan Haq.

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