Yearly Archives: 2015

Daily World News Digest, 30 December 2015

No respite for rescuers as 4,000 refugees stranded at sea over Christmas

Sputnik International news portal carried a story on 29 December saying that the year 2015 has been described as “exceptional” by the Italian coastguard after more than 4,000 refugees and migrants had to be rescued during the festive period. It had been predicted that the number of refugees attempting to cross sea waters would drop as weather conditions deteriorated, yet five times as many migrants have arrived in Europe this year than in 2014. Nearly a million people have arrived this year — more than 3,600 have died trying. In 2014 many governments decided to abandon search and rescue operations, but this did not prevent the refugees from trying to reach Europe.

Baloch insurgents use social media to highlight violent abuses by Pakistani security forces

CNN Indian Broadcasting Network reported on 29 December that insurgents are using social networks…

Daily World News Digest, 29 December 2015

Progress in search of Colombian cemeteries after missing

Prensa Latina reported on 28 December that the director of the Institute of Legal Medicine, Carlos Valdes, informed today that there have been progress in the exhumation works in several Colombian cemeteries in order to expedite the identification of people buried as unknown citizens. Such investigations are the result of previous agreements between representatives of the government and the FARC-EP in Havana to track missing persons in the context of the internal armed conflict.  Under this agreement both the security forces and the guerrilla movement shall provide information about deceased citizens, in order to promote the recovery of the remains and their delivery to the families.

Court upholds acquittals in missing lawyer Somchai case

Bangkok Post reported today that The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the appellate court’s acquittal of all five police officers charged with the robbery and coercion of “disappeared”…

Daily World News Digest, 28 December 2015

Argentine activist must continue search for missing granddaughter after case of mistaken identity

New York Daily News reported on 27 December that a 92-year-old Argentine activist must continue her search that’s lasted 39 years after DNA tests showed that a woman who said she was her missing granddaughter was not who she claimed to be. María Isabel (Chicha) Chorobik de Mariani’s granddaughter, Clara Anahí Mariani Terrugi, was taken away in 1976 when a military junta dominated the country. An announcement on Thursday claimed Terrugi was found. However, two days after the joyous announcement, Pablo Parenti – head of the Attorney General’s Unit for Cases of Child Appropriation – said “there is no genetic match” between the two women.. In 2003, the National Commission of the Disappearance of Persons listed the official number of missing people at 13,000.

Cameroon: Authorities must come clean over fate of 130 people ‘’disappeared’’ a…

Daily World News Digest, 24 December 2015

Friends fear for Chinese Christian lawyer spending Christmas behind bars

The Guardian carried a story today saying that in late August, the Christian human rights lawyer, Zhang Kai, was snatched in eastern China as he prepared to denounce a Communist party cross-removal campaign to the United States ambassador-at-large for religious freedom. He has not been seen since. In the years leading up to Zhang’s enforced disappearance, the 36-year-old lawyer had built a reputation as an uncompromising defender of China’s needy and poor. On 25 August, the day before Zhang was due to meet David Saperstein, the US ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, the Chinese lawyer was spirited into custody by police.

Mass graves for ‘’300 Shia Nigerians’’ in Zaria

The BBC reported on 23 December that Nigeria’s military killed and quickly buried the bodies of at least 300 Shia Muslims in an unjustified attack in the northern Zaria city earlier this…

Daily World News Digest, 23 December 2015

IOM: Irregular migrant, refugee arrivals in Europe top one million in 2015

IOM issued a statement on 22 December confirming that over a million irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, mostly from Syria, Africa and South Asia. The total is the highest migration flow since World War II. This year’s total of migrant/refugee deaths now stands at 3,692 – over 400 more than in 2014. IOM Director General William Lacy Swing said ‘’it’s not enough to count the number of those arriving – or the nearly 4,000 this year reported missing or drowned. We must also act. Migration must be legal, safe and secure for all – both for the migrants themselves and the countries that will become their new homes.”

Pakistan Senate discusses missing persons issue

The Express Tribune, a daily from Pakistan, reports today that the Senate, transformed into Committee of the Whole House, on…

Daily World News Digest, 22 December 2015

Bosnia identifies three young sisters from 1992 massacre

AFP reported on 21 December that Roma girls were aged just 3, 5 and 7 when Serb paramilitaries gunned them down in wartime Bosnia, along with their pregnant mother, their father and four other young siblings. More than 23 years after their deaths — and 12 years after their bones and clothes were found in a mass grave in eastern Bosnia — forensic experts on Monday identified them as sisters from the Ribic family. Buried nearby in a mass grave at Crni Vrh, their remains were left undiscovered until 2003, a spokeswoman for the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute, Lejla Cengic, told.

Thailand: Top court to rule over disappearance of a lawyer

The Bangkok Post reported today that the Supreme Court’s verdict in the case of lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit’s disappearance next Tuesday will set a new standard in cases of enforced disappearances, which…

Daily World News Digest, 21 December 2015

Cyprus leaders appeal to people to give information on missing persons

Famagusta Gazette, a daily from Cyprus, reported today that President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have appealed to all Cypriots to provide information to the Committee on Missing Persons on possible burial sites. The appeal, recorded as a TV-spot to be shown island-wide, was made during a visit of the two leaders to the CMP laboratory. CMP Greek Cypriot representative, Nestoras Nestoros stressed the need to collect information on possible burial sites, adding that such information should not be withheld. Nestoros also said the Committee already knows the location of the ten first sites in so called military areas in the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus and in 2016 exhumations will start in those areas.

As year nears end, migrants continue to die at sea

CNN carried a story on 19 December saying that as Christmas…

Daily World News Digest, 18 December 2015

Remains of Colombia ‘’disappeared’’ returned to families

AFP reported today that the remains of 29 people who disappeared during the half-century conflict in Colombia were handed over to their families Thursday under a deal between the FARC rebels and the government. The remains included the victims of both rebel and army atrocities. They were identified by forensic scientists and exhumed from common burial plots at several cemeteries in the area. The number of missing persons in the Colombian conflict ranges from 20,000 to 100,000. The agreement on returning the remains of the missing was finalized in October in Cuba, where the government and FARC have been holding peace talks for the past three years.

Body to coordinate reconciliation in Sri Lanka

The Hindu, a daily from India, carried a story today saying that the Sri Lankan government has decided to establish a secretariat to coordinate activities of various players engaged…

Republic of Serbia Signs ICMP Treaty


17 December 2015: The Republic of Serbia has become the ninth country to sign the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons.

ICMP has been helping the authorities in Serbia to account for missing persons since 1996. In 2001 ICMP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the former Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and after this ICMP assisted in the excavation and identification of persons missing from the Kosovo conflict. ICMP opened an office and established a DNA laboratory in Belgrade in 2002. The laboratory was handed over to the Serbian authorities in 2006. In 2014, ICMP renewed its agreement with the Government of Serbia Commission on Missing Persons through an exchange of letters relating specifically to the provision of assistance in locating, recovering and identifying missing persons related to the…

Daily World News Digest, 17 December 2015

Human Rights Commission says Nigerian Army is out of order, digging mass graves

Naij, a news portal from Nigeria, reported on 16 December that the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has affirmed that the Nigerian Army has opened fire on peaceful demonstration in Kaduna. The IHRC have also affirmed claims that the existence of mass graves have been credible. They report that the army has dug mass graves and are filling them up with bodies of victims of army actions over the weekend. The bloodbath which was experienced in Zaria on Saturday, 12 December, has stirred great controversy across the nation and in the international community, when the army attacked hundreds of Shiites who were protesting.

Two drown, more missing in refugee boat tragedy in Aegean

The Global Post reported on 16 December that Greek Coast Guard authorities announced on Wednesday that two people drowned and unclear number of migrants…