News in Brief (PM)

“Deep concern” for up to 10,000 displaced from Kunduz, Afghanistan

Up to 10,000 people have fled fighting in the Afghan city of Kunduz in recent days, prompting the UN Humanitarian Affairs office (OCHA) to express its deep concern for the “rapidly deteriorating” situation.

Taliban militants have been attempting to regain control of the strategically-important city since Monday.

A year ago, extremist fighters were forced out of Kunduz, and news reports say the main local hospital has been shelled, while thousands remain trapped inside the city.

Here’s UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

“Initial reports suggest that up to 10,000 people have fled Kunduz in recent days, arriving in Kabul, Taloqan and Mazar-i-Sharif. OCHA says many of those families were unable to bring their possessions with them and are in a precarious situation. Some have been forced to sleep out in the open and many are without food. Meanwhile, families trapped in Kunduz are facing water shortages and power cuts, and are finding it increasingly difficult to find food, fuel or health services.”

Death penalty is an “ineffective deterrent” for terrorism say UN experts

The death penalty has proved to be an “ineffective deterrent” against terrorism, according to a group of UN human rights experts.

Speaking ahead of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, marked on 10 October, the three UN Special Rapporteurs stressed that the threat posed, “does not justify departing from international standards for the protection of human rights.”

The UN experts on summary executions, Agnes Callamard; on torture, Juan . Mendez; and on counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson; urged governments not to turn to the death penalty in the face of rising attacks.

They said that 65 countries retain the death penalty for terrorism offences, and last year, at least seven countries had carried out executions, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa.

They pointed out that the UN General Assembly had repeatedly called on Member States to restrict the use of the death penalty.

Thousands of North Korean children “in urgent need” as winter looms

Thousands of children in the DPRK, or North Korea, are in “urgent need” of aid, with winter fast approaching.

The UN Children’s Fund and the Save the Children NGO issued the joint warning on Friday, saying that the approaching cold weather posed a “second wave of danger” following disastrous flooding.

In the past two months, 70,000 have been made homeless and another 600,000 are in need, due to the floods.

UNICEF’s representative in DPRK, Oyunsaihan Dendevnorov, said that “thousands of children are suffering” and had lost everything.

She said that without more supplies of clean water, food, medicin e and shelter “the suffering of children will only get worse.”

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’16”

Source: United Nations Radio.