This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
The Human Rights Council backed a call on Thursday to investigate rights violations in Iran amid ongoing deadly violence against protesters.
It comes after UN rights chief Volker Türk told the Council that Iranian security forces used “live ammunition, birdshot and other metal pellets, teargas and batons” against demonstrators.
“It pains me to see what is happening in the country. The images of children killed. Of women beaten in the streets. Of people sentenced to death. We have seen waves of protests over the past years, calling for justice, equality, dignity and respect for human rights. They have been met with violence and repression. The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force must come to an end.”
Iran’s protests were originally sparked by the death in custody in September of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini, after her arrest by Iran’s so-called Morality Police, for not wearing her hijab properly.
Mr. Türk said that the protest movement had spread to a reported 150 cities and 140 universities in all provinces of Iran and that more than 300 people have been killed, including at least 40 children.
Nearly 40 million children ‘dangerously susceptible’ to growing measles threat
An alert now from the UN health agency, WHO, that nearly 40 million youngsters are dangerously at risk from the growing threat of measles.
The warning is linked to the fact that in 2021 so many children missed their first and second doses of measles vaccine during the COVID pandemic.
2021 also saw an estimated nine million cases of measles and 128,000 deaths worldwide, and 22 countries were also hit by “large and disruptive” outbreaks, according to World Health Organization , which said that the coronavirus continues to disrupt lifesaving immunisation programmes today.
The UN health agency noted that only 81 per cent of the world’s children have received their first measles vaccine; far less have had a second dose. Herd immunity is only reached when at least 95 per cent of the population has had two vaccines.
UN panel on racial discrimination calls for Xinjiang rights violations probe
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination appealed to China on Thursday to investigate all allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang.
The allegations include torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, forced labour, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody, according to the committee, which monitors how countries implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The panel – which is made up of independent rights experts – previously expressed concerns about rights violations of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang when it last reviewed China’s policies in 2018.
The development follows the release of a report by the UN rights office in August which found that “serious human rights violations” against the Uyghur and “other predominantly Muslim communities” had been committed – an allegation that China subsequently rejected.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.