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|UNITED NATIONS， June 3 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations refugee agency on Friday warmly welcomed the announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the refugees who will compete as a team in the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro， Brazil.
The team includes two Syrian swimmers， two judokas from the Democratic Republic of Congo， and six runners from Ethiopia and South Sudan， the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a press release.
All of the members of the team have fled violence and persecution in their countries and sought refuge in places as wide-ranging as Belgium， Germany， Luxembourg， Kenya and Brazil， said the press release.
The first-ever refugee team will enter the opening ceremony in the Maracana Stadium before the host Brazil and under the Olympic flag. Throughout the Games， they will be treated as any other team， but will have expenses paid by the IOC.
The 2016 Summer Olympics is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games due to take place in Brazil on Aug. 5 to 21.
"We are very inspired by the Refugee Olympic Athletes team - having had their sporting careers interrupted， these high-level refugee athletes will finally have the chance to pursue their dreams，" said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
"Their participation in the Olympics is a tribute to the courage and perseverance of all refugees in overcoming adversity and building a better future for themselves and their families. UNHCR stands with them and with all refugees，" he said.
UNHCR stressed that the initiative comes at a time when more people than ever are being forced by conflict and persecution into fleeing their homes， underscoring that the global population of refugees， internally displaced people and asylum seekers reached a record 59.5 million at the end of 2014 and has continued rising since.
"The initiative to send a refugee team to the Rio Games is unprecedented and sends a strong message of support and hope for refugees worldwide，" UNHCR said.
UNHCR also said that the participation of a refugee team in the Olympics represents a major milestone in its long-standing partnership with the IOC.
"This relationship， which dates back 20 years， has been instrumental in promoting the role of sports in the development and well-being of refugees， particularly children， all over the world，" UNHCR said.
Through joint projects， the organizations have supported youth programmes and sporting activities in at least 20 countries， rehabilitated sporting fields in several refugee camps， and provided sports kits to refugee youth， the UN agency noted.
The announcement of the refugee team coincides with the launch of UNHCR's #WithRefugees campaign， which is an integral element of the UNHCR-IOC partnership for the 2016 Rio Games. The cornerstone of the campaign is a petition asking governments to ensure that every refugee child gets an education， that every refugee family has somewhere safe to live， and that every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community， UNHCR said.
The petition will be handed in before the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants， scheduled for Sept. 19 at UN Headquarters in New York.
An armed policewoman stand guard as British banker Rurik Jutting is driven to the High Court in a prison van (back) for an appeal hearing in Hong Kong on December 13 Cheap Men's Red Nike Vapormax Flyknit 2018 , 2017.
Three judges in Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal are set to decide the fate of a former British banker who was jailed for life last year for the murder of two Indonesian women he tortured and raped after his appeal hearing ended on Wednesday.
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Cambridge-educated Jutting pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in a case that gripped the Asian financial hub.
During the one and a half day appeal hearing in Hong Kong, Jutting’s lawyers said the judge who presided over the gruesome trial last year had misdirected the jury.
Defense lawyer Gerard McCoy argued that the judge had narrowed down the scope of the defense case by conflating an abnormality of mind with a psychiatric disorder.
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McCoy said Jutting showed severe traits of psychiatric disorders, far beyond the normal range and was therefore not in control of his actions.
Judges Michael Lunn, Andrew Macrae and Kevin Zervos are to return judgement on the appeal which may include granting Jutting the opportunity for a new trial Cheap Men's Nike Vapormax Flyknit 2018 Black , but they did not give a time frame.
Deputy High Court Judge Michael Stuart-Moore said in strongly worded closing remarks at the end of the trial last year that the case was one of the most horrifying Hong Kong had known.
He described Jutting as the “archetypal sexual predator” who represented an extreme danger to women, especially in the sex trade, and cautioned that it was possible he would murder again if freed.
The jury unanimously found Jutting Cheap Men's Nike VaporMax Black Anthracite , the grandson of a British policeman in Hong Kong and a Chinese woman, guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison in November 2016.
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