South Asian states urged to ratify UN convention on enforced disappearance
The Express Tribune in Pakistan reports today that legal experts and human rights activists meeting in Islamabad at a two-day conference organized by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the International Commission of Jurists, have called on South Asian countries, including Pakistan, to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. At the conference, delegates from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, India and Pakistan also urged countries in the region to implement recommendations made by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. http://bit.ly/1BWzl7c
More than 2,500 Colombian abduction cases presented to ICC
The Colombia Reports web portal reported on 4 February that more than 2,500 cases of disappearances allegedly perpetrated by the FARC rebel group have been presented to the International Criminal Court in The Hague by Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez….
Participants at meetings organized this week by ICMP in Tuzla and Brcko – the first of a series of Town Hall meetings that will be held throughout the country during February – unanimously agreed that the book-length Stocktaking Report published by ICMP, which describes two decades of work on accounting for missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a valuable platform for further dialogue on missing persons issues based on documented facts.
“We find and we feel that the issue of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been addressed by ICMP without any kind of discrimination,” Milja Mitrovic of the Bijeljina Association of Missing Persons and the RS Association of Missing Persons said at the conclusion of today’s meeting in Brcko. “The presentation of the Stocktaking Report reflects this.”
At both meetings, representatives of associations of families of missing persons, the BiH Missing Persons Institute, the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, and…
ICJ: Serbia and Croatia did not commit genocide
On 3 February The Jurist reported Tuesday’s verdict of the International Court of Justice that Serbia and Croatia did not commit genocide against one another’s citizens during the 1990s conflict. While the court recognized that genocidal acts were perpetrated by both sides, neither side could provide sufficient evidence to prove the necessary specific intent to commit genocide. The court also noted that it could only judge the genocide claims under the Geneva Convention, and acknowledged that further crimes may have been committed by Serbia and Croatia. http://bit.ly/18MGlw8
Serbia and Croatia must provide justice for victims
Amnesty International issued a statement on 3 February calling on Serbia and Croatia to focus their efforts on ensuring accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes and reparation for victims at the national level, following the ICJ ruling. “The fact that the court was unable to find…
At a meeting in The Hague this week, senior officials and legal experts from Libya launched an initiative to strengthen the Libyan justice system’s capacity to address the issue of missing persons.
Participants at a seminar organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons on Monday and Tuesday and entitled “Criminal Procedure and the Use of Evidence in Court-led Processes on Mass Graves and Missing Persons in Libya,” focused on how to expand the use of forensic evidence in court-led processes, and on clarifying inter-institutional responsibilities and legal obligations to family members of the missing.
While considerable progress has been made in building the technical capacity of the Libyan authorities, there are crucial gaps in the institutional and legal framework that need to be addressed in order to locate and identify the missing.
Recent political instability and violence has made it difficult to address much-needed legal reforms in a conclusive way, in…
UN court dismisses Croatia and Serbia genocide claims
The BBC reports that the International Court of Justice has ruled that Serbia and Croatia did not commit acts of genocide against each other during the Balkan wars. The Croatian government had alleged that Serbia committed genocide in the town of Vukovar and elsewhere in 1991. Serbia later filed a counter-claim over the expulsion of more than 200,000 Serbs from Croatia. The Croatian town of Vukovar was devastated when it was occupied by Serbs for three months in 1991. Tens of thousands of ethnic Croats were displaced, and about 260 Croat men were detained and killed. Four years later, the Croatian military’s Operation Storm bombarded the majority ethnic-Serb Krajina area, forcing about 200,000 people from their homes. Speaking in court on Tuesday, Judge Peter Tomka dismissed both the Croatian claim and the Serbian counter-claim. Forces on both sides had carried out violent…
Mexico must compile national missing persons list
The Associated Press reports that Mexico’s national Human Rights Commission will present a report to the UN today citing the absence of “a comprehensive national list of the missing” as one of the contributory factors to Mexico’s systemic missing persons crisis. Commission Chairman Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez said officials need to systemize and debug various existing databases because there is no “effective, comprehensive and transparent national” registry that would allow officials to know the real number of people who have disappeared in Mexico. http://abcn.ws/1z4VvSx
Egyptian authorities accused of covering up protester deaths
Evidence gathered by Amnesty International published on 1 February indicates that the Egyptian authorities are attempting to cover up the deaths of more than two dozen people who were killed in protests marking the 2011 uprising last weekend, according to an Amnesty press release. Prosecutors have threatened eyewitnesses with arrest and at…