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World News In Brief: More attacks in Ukraine, appeal for rights for jailed Nigerian singer, International Day Against Homophobia

World News In Brief: More attacks in Ukraine, appeal for rights for jailed Nigerian singer, International Day Against Homophobia


The safety of civilians, homes, schools and hospitals must be ensured. They are not a target, Denise Brown said a statementunderlining that international humanitarian law must be respected.

Ms Brown said the latest attacks came a day after she returned from the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine, which has been under relentless bombardment in recent days.

I saw the terrible consequences of intensified attacks by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on thousands of people who had to flee for their lives, leaving behind everything they had, she said.

Many are elderly people who fear they will never be able to return.

She also congratulated the humanitarians who are working tirelessly to support people in this human tragedy.

Nigeria urged to release musician facing execution for blasphemy

Independent UN human rights experts have called on Nigeria to immediately release a singer who was convicted of blasphemy in 2020.

Sufi Muslim musician Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to hang for writing a song and sharing it on the social messaging service WhatsApp.

Although his death sentence was overturned by an appeals court, we remain deeply concerned that Mr. Sharif-Aminus will be prosecuted under the same legal framework, the Kano State Sharia Penal Code Law, with serious risks that the death penalty will be upheld, experts said.

Abolition of the death penalty

Although the Nigerian Supreme Court has taken up the case, experts said they remain deeply concerned that Mr. Sharif-Aminu has been in prison for so long for exercising his human rights.

All people have the right to freedom of expression and religion or belief, they said, and to participate in the cultural life and development of their society through artistic expression, without fear of imprisonment, reprisal or execution.

They urged the Supreme Court to consider Mr. Sharif-Aminus' case as a priority and recommended that Nigeria impose a moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to abolishing it completely.

The three Special Rapporteurs who issued the statement were appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, the highest organ of the Organization for human rights. They operate in their individual capacity, are not UN staff and receive no salary for their work.

The rainbow flag flutters in the wind in San Francisco's Castro District.  Credit: Benson Kua

The rainbow flag flutters in the wind in San Francisco's Castro District. Credit: Benson Kua

Respect human rights on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

The UN Secretary-General called for commitment to building a world of respect, dignity and human rights for all in his message to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on Friday.

Antnio Guterres applauded the courageous work of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) activists fighting to outlaw discrimination and ensure equality before the law.

However, there is a worrying increase in the opposite direction, he warned. New laws are codifying old bigotry, exploiting fear and fueling hatred.

He said that this year's theme of marking International Nobody's Day: equality, freedom and justice for all is a reminder of the obligation to respect human rights and the dignity of every person.

We need action around the world to make those rights a reality, the UN chief said, calling for an end to the criminalization of same-sex relationships and discrimination and harmful practices against LGBTIQ+ communities .




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