Monthly Archives: June 2015

Daily World News Digest, 16 June



Amnesty: World leaders’ neglect of refugees condemns millions to death and despair

Amnesty International issued a statement on 15 June arguing that world leaders are condemning millions of refugees to an unbearable existence and thousands to death by failing to provide essential humanitarian protection. The statement accompanied an Amnesty briefing paper published in Beirut on 15 June, ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June. The Global Refugee Crisis: A conspiracy of neglect explores the startling suffering of millions of refugees, from Lebanon to Kenya, the Andaman Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and calls for a radical change in the way the world deals with refugees.

MSF Bolsters Mediterranean Search and Rescue

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported on 15 June that it has launched an additional search and rescue boat in the Mediterranean to help people trying to reach Europe while fleeing war, persecution, and poverty. The boat,…

Daily World News Digest, 15 June 2015

IOM reports discovery of remains of 18 West African migrants in Sahara

The International Organization for Migration carried a story on 14 June saying that authorities from Niger and IOM’s teams in the field learned on 11 June that the bodies of 18 migrants have been found in the Sahara. IOM Niger’s Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete said it was likely they had perished more than a week earlier, on 3 June, having died most probably from dehydration. “They succumbed after having lost their route from Arlit, Niger to Algeria due to a sand storm,” said Loprete. “And then the heat and lack of water did the rest.” IOM Director General William Lacy Swing said in Geneva on Sunday that the tragedy “highlights a feared but hitherto little-known danger too many migrants face long before they risk their lives at sea. The Sahara may be as deadly as the Mediterranean…

Daily World News Digest, 12 June 2015

Abductions on the rise in Kashmir

The Kashmir Monitor reports today that kidnapping cases are increasing, with two cases being reported on average every day. As many as 761 abduction cases have been reported by police in 2014 in the state. In 2013 in Kashmir, 638 kidnapping incidents were reported, while in 2012 the figure was 694. Police registered 471 abduction cases in 2008 and 579 cases in 2009. “From past few years mostly youth get kidnapped. There are only few cases when an elderly person is missing,” a police source said. The report concluded that Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as one of the most violent places in India after New Delhi, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh.

UN: Civilians at risk as Darfur attacks surge

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 11 June calling on the UN Security Council to require more vigorous civilian protection and better human rights reporting…

Daily World News Digest, 11 June 2015

Islamic State holds thousands of slaves

The Mashable web portal reported on 10 June that Islamic State is holding as many as 3,000 people captive. When the radicals made their big push into Iraq last summer, they targeted the Yezidi community, members of which it regards as infidels — fair game for forced conversion, slavery and execution. During the IS onslaught, thousands were killed or carted off to IS-territory where they were sold as slaves. Officials in Iraq’s Kurdish region, where most survivors wound up, have tallied roughly that as many as 1,200 were killed, 840 are still missing and 4,500 were taken as slaves. Other local activists also tracking the crisis have come up with similar numbers. Those who have managed to escape describe systematic sexual brutality against women of all ages and even little girls.

Eritrea: a regime of terror

The Guardian carried a story on 10 June…

Daily World News Digest, 10 June 2015

UN should press human rights issues in Central Asia

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 9 June saying that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Central Asia trip is a “key opportunity to mark UN concern at the highest level about the alarming state of human rights throughout the region and press for concrete improvements”. Human Rights Watch highlighted politically-motivated prosecutions and imprisonment of human rights and civic activists, restrictions on the operation of nongovernmental groups and the media, and impunity for torture. The problem of politically-motivated imprisonment is particularly acute in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where numerous other individuals remain behind bars on baseless charges, HRW says. In Turkmenistan dozens of people, including former foreign minister Boris Shikhmuradov, have been forcibly disappeared, after their arrest and in most cases closed trials. The authorities have not allowed their families or anyone else any contact with them for more than a decade, nor…

Daily World News Digest, 9 June 2015

Macedonia probes migrant kidnap claims

BalkanInsight reported on 8 June that police are investigating media reports about the alleged large-scale kidnapping of illegal migrants from the Middle East by gangs who are said to be holding them for ransom. Police said they had launched a probe after Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast a report about hundreds of migrants from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen being held for ransom by gangs in at least one Macedonian village, alleging that local police have colluded with their captors. The Channel 4 News report said that migrants who were initially promised safe passage by rail through Macedonia are being pulled off the train in their hundreds by a gang near the town of Kumanovo, forced to walk two hours to the village of Vaksince and held and abused there in an overcrowded house until they pay a ransom.

Enforced disappearance in…

Daily World News Digest, 8 June 2015

Serbia and RS under Western pressure over Srebrenica

The b92 news portal carried a story by Vecernje Novosti on 4 June that Belgrade and Banja Luka are under pressure to send top political officials to the marking of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre. According to the Belgrade-based Vecernje Novosti, this “behind the scenes foreign policy strike” is most felt by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and by Milorad Dodik, president of the smaller of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s two Entities – “since influential Western circles wish to see precisely these two at the commemoration.” The current diplomatic “recommendations” could, allegedly, culminate on 9 July, two days before the Srebrenica gathering, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Belgrade and then in Sarajevo.

Issue of missing must be addressed in Kosovo

Fair Observer carried an interview on 7 June with EU Special Representative in Kosovo Samuel Zbogar, who noted…

Daily World News Digest, 5 June 2015

Children’s homes in Indian state briefed on child tracking system

The Hindu newspaper carries a story today about a training seminar on missing children, conducted by the district administration in the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu State, with the Department of Social Welfare and the District Child Protection Unit. The seminar on 5 June presented a missing children tracking system. All the 78 children’s homes in the district, which have around 4,000 residents, took part. The tracking network will have all details of an inmate such as estimated age, mother tongue, identification marks and physical features. The database will be collated at the national level so that those missing in other States can be tracked. Registering under this network is mandatory for children’s homes in India.

Croatia and Serbia agree on the figure of 1,606 missing

BalkanInsight reported on 4 June that the Croatian and Serbian commissions dealing with the…

Preparing a Missing Persons Strategy for Libya

Libyan lawyers and other stakeholders meeting at a seminar in Istanbul on 11-12 May called on the parties preparing a national dialogue in Libya to make a formal commitment not only to work towards disclosing the fate of missing persons but to conduct investigations and also to safeguard the rights of families.

Legal experts, civil society activists and government representatives were participating in a seminar on “criminal procedure and the use of evidence in court-led processes on mass graves and missing persons in Libya”, organized by ICMP to help stakeholders develop a legal framework through which the missing persons issue can be addressed when the operating environment in the country stabilizes.

Fadeel Mohammed Atayeb Lameen, Chairman of the Libyan National Dialogue Preparatory Commission, welcomed the seminar’s recommendation highlighting the authorities’ obligations in the field of missing persons. “I think this will be useful to all those who are engaged in the…

Review of Unidentified Remains in BiH Mortuaries

At the end of May, a team of experts working under the jurisdiction of the Central Bosnia Canton Prosecutor’s Office began the process of case review and anthropological analysis of unidentified remains associated with Travnik mortuary. Relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina at every level are conducting a thorough review of all 12 mortuaries in the country to establish why a large number of bone samples sent for testing do not match the genetic profiles of nearly 9,000 complete sets of reference samples provided by more than 27,000 family members with missing relatives.

At the end of 2012 the Missing Persons Institute determined that there were 3,279 cases of human remains in mortuaries across Bosnia and Herzegovina that had the status of NN, that is, they were unidentified. Since June 2013 the NN Working Group has reviewed nearly 1,300 NN cases in the mortuaries at Sutina,…