This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
Krgyzstan arrests: condemnation over reservoir defenders’ detention
To Krgyzstan, where the UN human rights office, OHCHR, has issued an alert over the arrest and detention of 20 activists who’ve been trying to protect a reservoir in the south-west of the country.
OHCHR said on Wednesday that the individuals face serious criminal charges, including “organising mass riots”.
The development comes as the Krgyz authorities prepare to transfer the Kempir-Abad reservoir to neighbouring Uzbekistan, in line with a border delimitation agreement.
It’s widely believed that the activists’ detention is linked to their campaign for more transparency in government decision-making, the UN human rights office said, before insisting on people’s right to freedom of expression and access to information in Krgyzstan.
Pre-trial detention should be an exception and only applied when it was reasonable and necessary, said OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell:
WHO releases first list of health-threatening fungi
WHO’s catalogue of 19 fungi prioritises which ones represent the greatest threat to public health, the aim being to promote research and strengthen our response to fungal infections and antifungal resistance.
Just how important the issue is, was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, when invasive fungal infections increased significantly among hospitalized patients.
There are only four types of antifungal medicine available today, and this is a problem, as fungal infections are becoming more common and resistant to treatment.
Even more worrying, WHO said that “most fungal pathogens lack rapid and sensitive diagnostics, and those (medicines) that exist are not widely available or affordable globally”.
People at greatest risk of invasive fungal infections include those with cancer, HIV or AIDS, organ transplants, chronic respiratory disease and tuberculosis.
Chad’s ‘lethal repression’ of protests in UN Human Rights spotlight
The killing of peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Chad six days ago has been strongly condemned by a top UN-appointed independent rights expert.
Clément Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, also called for the immediate release of hundreds of demonstrators now believed to be in custody.
His appeal comes after security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters.
They had gathered in the capital N’Djamena and other cities to call for a transition to democracy, but 50 were reportedly killed and nearly 300 were injured.
The violence follows the decision to extend the term of President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno by two years. He became the country’s leader in 2021 after his father – who had been in power since 1990 – was killed during a clash with opposition fighters.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.