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Growing human rights violations in Algeria a great concern – UN

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The United Nations has raised serious concern about the human rights violations and growing restrictions imposed by the Algerian Government.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said she is concerned about the growing restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including the increasing number of arrests and detentions of human rights defenders, members of civil society and political opponents in Algeria.

The UN high commissioner said, “In Algeria, I am concerned about the growing restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including the increasing number of arrests and detentions of human rights defenders, members of civil society and political opponents”.

This came out in Ms. Bachelet’s latest annual report on the situation of Human rights in the world, according to North Africa Post.

In this report submitted Tuesday to the 49th session of the Human Rights Council, Ms. Bachelet has called on the Algerian government to change course and take all necessary steps to end its repression and guarantee its people’s rights to freedom of speech, association and peaceful assembly.

The systematic violations of human rights and the repression of Hirak activists in Algeria had been denounced by several regional and international organizations, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN special rapporteurs.

For its part, the European Parliament had adopted, in less than a year, two successive resolutions on the alarming human rights situation in Algeria, while several MEPs have condemned the continuing oppression, prosecution and harassment of the Hirak militants by the Algerian military regime.

Musings From Abroad

WHO ‘very worried’ over spread of Mpox varieties in Congo DR 

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A senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO), Rosamund Lewis, has said that the body is “very worried” about the spread of a variety of Mpox that has killed nearly 600 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year.

This year alone, Congo DR has reported 13,000 cases, which is more than twice as many as during the last peak in 2020, with the disease occurring in almost every province. The WHO is working with the authorities on the response and a risk assessment.

The dangerous clade mpox outbreak was the subject of a warning released by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday.

“The virus variant is known to be more virulent. If it adapts better to human-to-human transmission, that presents a risk,” Lewis, WHO’s mpox lead, told journalists.

WHO in May announced that the disease was no longer a global health emergency after which its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the end of the emergency status for the disease.

Most reported cases of the disease were identified through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary healthcare facilities, and involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men.

A less severe form known as clade II started to spread around the world last year, mostly through male-to-male sexual contact, prompting WHO to declare a public health emergency.

Lewis expressed concern over new evidence suggesting that clade I can also spread through sexual contact. According to her, mumps can also infect humans through contaminated animals or family members living together in a home. Children and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable; in up to 10% of cases of clade I, illness results in death.

“We have very little information of who is dying of mpox [in DRC] other than age,” said Lewis, adding more data was needed.

The viral infection known as mpox spreads by intimate contact and results in lesions filled with pus and flu-like symptoms. Although most cases are mild and can be fatal.

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Musings From Abroad

Sudan Conflict: US insists all warring parties guilty of war crimes

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The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has maintained that neither party in the ongoing conflict in Sudan can be exonerated from war crimes.

The position was made known on Wednesday as the US continues pressure on the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to end fighting that has caused a humanitarian crisis. The US also insisted that the RSF and allied militias committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

“The expansion of the needless conflict between the RSF and the SAF has caused grievous human suffering,” Blinken said, referring to the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). In West Darfur, the RSF has also been charged with spearheading an ethnic massacre; in the capital city of Khartoum, locals have accused the paramilitary group of raping, stealing, and detaining civilians.

“Masalit civilians have been hunted down and left for dead in the streets, their homes set on fire, and told that there is no place in Sudan for them,” Blinken said. The Masalit are a non-Arab tribe.

“Detainees have been abused, and some have been killed at SAF and RSF detention sites,” Blinken added.

A war broke out in mid-April between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over plans for a political transition and the integration of the RSF into the military, four years after longtime ruler, Omar al-Bashir, was overthrown in an uprising.

Blinken, however, maintained that the position did not rule out the possibility of other determinations in the future as more information became available.

“The United States is committed to building on this determination and using available tools to end this conflict and cease committing the atrocities and other abuses that are depriving the Sudanese people of freedom, peace, and justice,” Blinken said.

Over 6 million people have fled their homes as a result of the conflict, and about 1.2 million of them have entered neighbouring countries, severely straining the resources of Sudan and its neighbours.

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