Both the UN and Amnesty International have expressed concern at the scale of atrocities in northern Iraq and the bloody trail of death left by Islamic State fighters. A UN spokesman said "Christians and others have been driven from their homes with the threat of 'convert or die.' The Yazidis have been buried alive, beheaded or killed in mass executions." Meanwhile in a new report Amnesty International, says Islamic State fighters are carrying out a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing, carrying out war crimes against ethnic and religious minorities. Joining us now from London Middle East specialist Hazir Tamourian.
Irish troops serving with the UN in the Golan Heights are on "high alert" after rebels, including Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, seized the Syrian side of the sole crossing to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights today. There are three Irish soldiers stationed close to where the activity took place. Sean was joined by security analyst, Dr. Tom Clonan.
Niamh Heery, winner of the Grand Prize in the Irish Council for Civil Liberties 'Human Rights Film Award' for her documentary "Harmanali: Trapped on the Fringe of Freedom" which looks at life inside a locked Syrian refugee camp in Bulgaria Official website: www.humanrightsfilmawards.org
on Thursday's show.....a round-up of the latest in crime fiction, singer Cormac O’Caoimh and reviews of the latest film releases including a gentler Nicholas Cage in "Joe", Gael Garcia Bernal documentary "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" and the re-boot of the mythical "Hercules"
Last August it seemed like the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was terminally wounded. After using the nerve gas sarin to kill hundreds of civilians it seemed his days were very definitely numbered. However this week Assad won a presidential election with 89% of the vote. There was never any doubt that he would win. So why organise an election in the midst of a civil war at all? Dr Vincent Durac of the School of Politics and International Relations in UCD, and by phone from London by Shashank Joshi, a Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) ...
Tens of thousands of people are on the brink of starvation in Syria, twenty thousand of them in the disputed Damascus suburb of Yarmouk. Food has been scarce in Yarmouk since the beginning of the year but conditions have dramatically worsened recently after the regime blocked food supplies in an attempt to force rebel groups inside to surrender. The Guardian’s Middle East correspondent Martin Chulov spoke to Sean from Beirut.
All this week our reporter Brian O’Connell has been reporting from unofficial refugee camps along the Lebanese Syrian border, where over 1 million refugees have fled as a result of the conflict in Syria. Brian returned from Lebanon last night and joined us from our Cork studio.