Monthly Archives: June 2015

Daily World News Digest, 30 June 2015

Amnesty says Egypt in “repression”

Sky News reported on 30 June that two years after the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has regressed into “all-out repression”, with activists jailed in a bid to crush dissent, according to Amnesty International. The London-based rights watchdog said that Egyptian authorities led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are engaged in a blatant attempt to “nip in the bid any future threat to their rule”. “Mass protests have been replaced by mass arrests,” Amnesty said in a statement on Tuesday, ahead of the second anniversary on Friday of the 3 July 2013 ouster of the Islamist Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader. “Today… youth activists are languishing behind bars, providing every indication that Egypt has regressed into a state of all-out repression,” the statement quoted Amnesty’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui as saying. It said a government crackdown has resulted in more than 41,000 people arrested,…

Daily World News Digest, 29 June 2015

Mothers of Srebrenica – the fight for truth and justice

Transconflict reported a story on 26 June saying that after 20 years, the Mothers of Srebrenica are continuing their fight for truth and justice. Chloé Gaillard and Marion Pineau met with Zumra Sehomerović, who shared her inspiring story and discussed the challenges that the survivors of the genocide in Srebrenica face. In July 2015, Bosnia-Herzegovina will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The Balkan Diskurs team had the unique chance to talk to Zumra Sehomerović, member of the Mothers of Srebrenica association. She agreed to share with us her sad but inspiring life story: of her 20-year battle for truth, justice, and the ending of impunity for the perpetrators of genocide. “The toughest times are behind me, but it still hurts and it always will. I don’t have the words to express my pain,” says Zumra, who lost…

Daily World News Digest, 26 June 2015

Odalovic: 1,654 Missing Persons Are Being Sought In Kosovo

InSerbia News reported on 25 June that A total of 1,654 missing persons – including 535 Serbs and other non-Albanians – are currently being sought in the territory of Kosovo-Metohija, the head of the Serbian government commission on missing persons, Veljko Odalovic, said on Thursday. “That is an enormous number, regardless of the fact that we have solved more than 1,700 cases so far,” Odalovic said on the 16th anniversary of the kidnapping and killing of over 50 Serb civilians in Metohija’s Istok municipality in June 1999. Speaking at an event commemorating the crime, Odalovic said that all locations in central Serbia have been examined during the search for ethnic Albanian victims. That is not the case in Kosovo-Metohija, because there is no equal readiness on the other (ethnic Albanian) side to search for Serb victims, Odalovic said. Natasa Scepanovic, the…

Daily World News Digest, 25 June 2015

Hungary’s border fence with Serbia “not bilateral issue”

b92 reported on 24 June that Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says the Hungarian government will build a temporary fence on the border with Serbia “as soon as possible”, to stop the flow of illegal migrants from third countries. Szijjarto told a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the fence, to which Serbia is opposed, “is not a bilateral issue” and that “relations with Serbia have never been as good as today.” He pointed out that several laws need to be amended before the fence could start being built, but said nothing about when construction might begin, Tanjug reported. The minister added that “61,000 illegal migrants entered Hungary in 2015, almost all by crossing the border with Serbia.” The majority of migrants who seek refugee status in Hungary leave the country very soon to go further west into Europe….

Daily World News Digest, 24 June 2015

IOM: displacement in Iraq passes 3 million

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) carried a story on 23 June announcing that its latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has identified 3,087,372 internally displaced persons (514,562 families) in Iraq from January 2014 through 4 June 2015. The displaced are dispersed across all of Iraq’s 18 governorates. In the months since the beginning of hostilities in Ramadi, Anbar, on 8 April 2015 through 15 June, over 276,330 Iraqis are reported to have been displaced from the city and its outskirts. Of this population, 55 percent were displaced after 15 May when Ramadi city center was entirely occupied by armed groups. Most of the IDPs are displaced to Baghdad governorate (45 percent) or within Anbar governorate (35 percent).

UN Chief: saving migrants’ lives must be top priority

Voice of America reported on 23 June that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on European parliamentarians…

Daily World News Digest, 23 June 2015

Security Council has “obligation to act now” to protect civilians from Islamic State

Big News Network reports today that an expert from the UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council appealed today for the Security Council to take immediate action to enforce international law and protect civilians living “in daily fear for their lives” in areas controlled by Islamic State, where “shocking crimes are being committed on an industrial scale.” “The Security Council has an obligation to act,” Ben Emmerson, the Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, was quoted as saying in a press release on the presentation of his latest report on the gross violations committed by Islamic State. Mr. Emmerson described in his report how different entities have found clear evidence of persecution and summary execution of religious and ethnic minority communities on a mass scale, arbitrary execution of community leaders, journalists, intellectuals…

Daily World News Digest, 22 June 2015

World Refugee Day: Governments, not smugglers, are the real problem

Amnesty International carried a story on 20 June saying that the global refugee situation has not been this dire since the end World War Two. The crisis in Syria is the biggest humanitarian catastrophe of our time, it said, with four million refugees struggling to survive in neighboring countries and another 7.6 million people displaced within its borders. Less publicized conflicts are also devastating; three million refugees are fleeing human rights abuses in South Sudan, Nigeria, Burundi and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Iraq: Don’t facilitate death penalty

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today arguing that Iraq’s parliament should turn down a proposal to allow the justice minister, rather than the president, to ratify execution orders. It said criminal procedures in Iraqi courts, including in death penalty cases, fall short of international fair trial standards. The proposed change, which…

Daily World News Digest, 19 June 2015

EU: rights abuses at home drive Mediterranean crisis

Human Rights Watch issued a report today highlighting the fact that human rights abuses are driving the surge in boat migration in the Mediterranean. It says EU leaders should put human rights at the heart of the EU’s response. EU leaders will meet on 25 and 26 June to discuss European Commission proposals for a “European Migration Agenda.” The 33-page HRW report, “The Mediterranean Migration Crisis: Why People Flee, What the EU Should Do,” documents human rights abuses driving people to make the dangerous sea crossing and the shortcomings of EU migration and asylum policies. Over 100,000 migrants and asylum seekers have crossed the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2015. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, over 60 percent of those taking the journey come from Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan, countries torn apart by war and generalized political violence, or from…

Daily World News Digest, 18 June 2015

Number of displaced people worldwide hits record high – UN report

The BBC reports today that the number of people displaced by war, conflict or persecution reached a record high of nearly 60 million in 2014, according to a UNHCR report that says the number of people forced to flee their homes rose by 8.3 million from the previous year. The continuing conflict in Syria is seen as a major factor behind the record numbers. UNHCR head Antonio Guterres told the BBC the “world is a mess” and that humanitarian agencies do not have the capacity “to pick up the pieces”. The report says that 59.5 million people were displaced by the end of 2014. This included 19.5 million refugees, 38.2 million internally displaced people and 1.8 million still awaiting the outcome of asylum claims. More than 50 percent of the refugees were children. In Syria alone, there were 3.9…

Daily World News Digest, 17 June 2015

Mexican military, Federal police linked to Ayotzinapa case

teleSUR carried a story on 15 June reporting that a former judge seeking asylum in the United States has said he witnessed events on the night that 43 Ayotzinapa students were forcibly disappeared. Speaking to journalists from Proceso magazine, the judge gave a new version of what happened in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero, on the night of 26 September. He suggests that federal and military officials were directly involved in the targeting of the trainee teachers. This contradicts the conclusions of the official investigation. The attorney general’s office has made public a criminal report which finds that only municipal police were involved. It said that after the students were detained at the local jail, corrupt officers handed them over to the local drug cartel Guerreros Unidos, whose members burned the bodies at a local garbage dump and threw the…