Around 300 people have been killed during three months of anti-government protests, which have been calling on long-serving President Daniel Ortega to step down. Hundreds have reportedly been detained, amid a violent crackdown by police and pro-government paramilitary groups, according to news reports.“Currently, an average of 200 asylum applications are being lodged daily in Costa Rica,” UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler told journalists on Tuesday, noting that applications have increased exponentially in recent months, since protests against the Nicaraguan government began.According to Costa Rican authorities, nearly 8,000 asylum claims by Nicaraguan nationals have been registered since April, and some 15,000 more have been given appointments for later registration, due to the application system being overwhelmed.Mr. Spindler said that UNHCR is supporting the Migration authority to increase its processing capacity from 200 to at least 500 claims daily.“UNHCR is strengthening its presence in Costa Rica’s northern border region”, he added, together with the Costa Rican Government, other UN agencies and NGO partners, he said the refugee agency was “gearing up its response capacity to provide immediate protection and assistance to thousands of Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers, both in the northern region and in the metropolitan area of the capital San Jose.”An estimated 100,000 to 150,000 Nicaraguan families already living in Costa Rica are providing an initial safety net for friends, relatives and fellow citizens as they arrive.“UNHCR appreciates the efforts of the Costa Rican authorities in keeping the country’s borders open to Nicaraguans in need of international refugee protection, in line with its long tradition of solidarity,” stated Mr. Spindler.“At the same time,” he continued, “UNHCR calls on the international community to provide support to Costa Rica and other countries hosting Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers, in the spirit of solidarity and responsibility-sharing of the Global Compact on Refugees and the application of the Regional Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework – a collective regional action plan “to strengthen protection and promote durable solutions among countries of origin, transit and destination in Central America and Mexico,” added Mr. Spindler.While Costa Rica has received the lion’s share of asylum claims, Panama, Mexico and the United States have also recorded hundreds of applications; especially during the first half of 2018, with a significant peak in June.Meanwhile, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are increasingly becoming transit countries for Nicaraguan refugees. In coordination with government authorities, the spokesperson said that the UN System and its partners will elaborate “a comprehensive regional response to address the international protection and humanitarian needs of Nicaraguan refugees.”UNHCR and its partners are also providing assistance to more than 700 refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from El Salvador and Honduras, living in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua and other parts of the country.
The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), through the Dorchester Collection, owns London’s Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as well as Coworth Park in Berkshire. Earlier this month the Sultan of Brunei announced the imposition of a strict new form of sharia law in the south east Asian kingdom, which would impose death by stoning for those convicted of having gay sex or committing adultery.Since the announcement a string of luxury hotels around the world, which are owned by Brunei, have faced protests and boycotts. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. John Apter, the Chairman of the Police Federation, said the boycott was the right thing to do The Police Federation will not host this year’s annual bravery awards at the Brunei owned Dorchester hotel in London in protest at country’s new gay sex laws.The organisation, which represents more than 119,000 rank and file officers, is the latest to join a growing boycott of hotels owned by the leader of the tiny state.The police bravery awards, which have been running for almost 25-years, honour remarkable acts of courage and valour from serving officers.The glittering ceremony, which is often attended by the Home Secretary and other government ministers, had been due to be held at the Dorchester on July 18.But John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, said the decision to move the event to a different venue was the “right thing to do” because the organisation could not support “a regime which is so fundamentally opposed to the values of respect, diversity and equality”. The Sultan of Brunei owns a string of luxury hotels around the world Also in its portfolio of hotels, among the world’s most exclusive, are two of Hollywood’s best-known establishments, the Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills.Actor George Clooney and Sir Elton John are among a number of celebrities who announced they would no longer stay at any of the hotels owned by the Sultan.Mr Apter said hotel management had refunded the deposit for the event and been “incredibly understanding”.He said: “We cannot in all conscience support a regime which is so fundamentally opposed to the values of respect, diversity and equality we hold so highly within our organisation and policing as a whole.”And although the decision is no reflection on the staff of the hotel itself who have always done their utmost to ensure that the event is a success, it is the right one.”Local management at the hotel has reimbursed us after cancelling the deposit and have been incredibly understanding in these circumstances for which I am grateful.”The new venue has not yet been announced for security reasons.