Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Deadly Warning: Srebrenica Revisited

A BBC documentary presented by Myriam Francois-Cerrah examines the experience of a small group of British young people, born in 1995, the year of the Srebrenica Genocide, as they visited Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier this year and learned about the only recognized genocide on European soil since World War Two. The film includes a visit by the young people to the Podrinje Identification Center in Tuzla, where they were briefed by ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger and ICMP Senior Forensic Anthropologist Dragana Vucetic. The visit was organized by the UK charity Remembering Srebrenica. The documentary can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1JTFjfi.

More than 100 newly-identified bodies will be laid to rest

The International Business Times published an article on Srebrenica today written by ICMP Chairman Thomas Miller and ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, stressing that that “recognizing and communicating the nature and scale of the crime” is an indispensable basis for ensuring that it is not repeated. “The killers sought to hide the evidence of their crime with the utmost callousness, using mechanical diggers to exhume bodies and scatter them across multiple secondary graves that they believed would be difficult to detect,” Miller and Bomberger wrote. “In the process they commingled the bones of the dead in a way that they may have thought would make them impossible to identify. They sought to destroy the very identities of the people they had murdered. In the Western Balkans, ICMP has led a process that has made it possible to account for more than 70% of the missing, an unprecedented achievement. In the…

Truth and Justice Are Antidotes to Violence and Hatred

On 7 July the Huffington Post published an opinion piece by ICMP Commissioner Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan describing the remarkable response of families of the missing in the years since the Srebrenica genocide. Queen Noor wrote that she has spent long periods over the last two decades in the company of the Mothers of Srebrenica, who are “among the bravest and most inspiring people it has ever been my privilege to meet.” She stressed that “they have refused to abandon the pursuit of justice, and they have refused to descend to the level of the men who murdered their fathers and husbands and sons: they have refused to hate.” She stressed that ICMP has responded to the horror of Srebrenica with effective strategies that use state of the art technology and foster the rule of law. “Each of the thousands of white headstones at Srebrenica bears a…

Daily World News Digest, 8 July 2015

Truth and justice are antidotes to violence and hatred

On 7 July the Huffington Post published an opinion piece by ICMP Commissioner Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan describing the remarkable response of families of the missing in the years since the Srebrenica genocide. Queen Noor wrote that she has spent long periods over the last two decades in the company of the Mothers of Srebrenica, who are “among the bravest and most inspiring people it has ever been my privilege to meet.” She stressed that “they have refused to abandon the pursuit of justice, and they have refused to descend to the level of the men who murdered their fathers and husbands and sons: they have refused to hate.” She stressed that ICMP has responded to the horror of Srebrenica with effective strategies that use state of the art technology and foster the rule of law. “Each of the…

Daily World News Digest, 7 July 2015

War crime convictions urged for Serbian security officials

Balkan Insight reported on 6 July that in an appeal hearing on Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the prosecution asked for a reversal of the initial verdict on former state security officials Stanisic and Simatovic which found them not guilty of war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia during the 1990s. “The trial chamber verdict contains serious errors, it blocked justice and accountability,” the prosecution said, adding that such a ruling “can harm future international justice decisions”. The Hague Tribunal in 2013 acquitted Stanisic, the former head of the Serbian interior ministry’s security service, and his right-hand man, Franko Simatovic, commander of the ministry’s Special Operations Unit, of taking part in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at forcibly removing Bosniaks and Croatians from large parts of Bosnia and Croatia from 1991 to 1995. http://bit.ly/1H6hT35

100,000 Bones exhibit to…

Daily World News Digest, 6 July 2015

Srebrenica dead to be remembered

The Daily Mail reports today that thousands of men and boys killed in the Srebrenica genocide 20 years ago will be remembered at a service at Westminster Abbey today. More than 8,370 Bosnian Muslims were systematically murdered in the days after General Ratko Mladic and Bosnian Serb troops captured the town on 11 July 1995, during the Balkans conflict. The United Nations described it as “the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War”. Prime Minister David Cameron has led tributes and the Princess Royal will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday for Srebrenica Memorial Day. Mr Cameron said: “We must never, ever forget what happened at Srebrenica. The 20th anniversary is a moment to remember the many thousands who lost their lives and to remember their families and the missing.” http://dailym.ai/1giQkgD

Serbs ask Russia to veto UN resolution on Srebrenica

The Moscow…

Mechanics of Migration

Bangladeshi migrant workers who have crossed the Egyptian border wait patiently for a repatriation flight home, relieved to have escaped the fighting in Libya. Picture © Stabilisation Unit/DFID

Rachele Sbrissa examines enforced disappearance, people trafficking and missing persons issues that are an integral element in the Mediterranean migration crisis

Migration and forced migration have become issues of growing international attention and concern. A majority of people move voluntarily, but in 2013, out of 232 million estimated migrants, Behind the statistics, the plight of migrants and refugees constitutes a serious humanitarian emergency, which has recently been brought into the spotlight by rising immigration flows affecting Europe, notably through the main transit routes of the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Despite huge sums of money being spent on collecting migration and border control data, relatively little is known about the migrants who die during their journey and/or…

New Global Missing Persons Trends

Imigrant Crossing US Mexico Border

ICMP’s Daily World News Digest brings together news stories dealing with enforced disappearances and missing persons cases from around the world. It offers a snapshot of daily events and over a longer period it highlights key trends.

Mediterranean Migration

The Mediterranean migration crisis continued to dominate headlines in June. A new structural aspect emerged amid reports of African migrants dying on the dangerous route across the Sahara, even before they reach the Mediterranean.

Euronews reported on 31 May  that thousands of migrants rescued from the Mediterranean were continuing to arrive in Italian ports, most, reportedly, from Eritrea, where alleged human rights abuses have sparked a refugee exodus. European authorities said that more than 5,000 migrants had been saved from boats in distress since 29 May, and operations were underway to rescue hundreds more. The Greek Reporter news portal reported on 31 May that the Greek coast guard rescued 237 migrants…

Migration and Missing Persons

Children in the Atmah Refugee Camp on the boarders with Turkey, Christmas Day 2012. Credit: Basma

On 18 June, two days before World Refugee Day, UNHCR issued its annual Global Trends report, this year entitled “World at War”.

Speaking about the report, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said: “We have reached a moment of truth. World stability is falling apart leaving a wake of displacement on an unprecedented scale. Global powers have become either passive observers or distant players in the conflicts driving so many innocent civilians from their homes.”

According to UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced people at the end of 2014 rose to a staggering 59.5 million, compared to 51.2 million at the end of 2013, and 37.5 million a decade ago. Guterres pointed out that more people fled their homes in 2014 than at any time since UNHCR records began.

Worldwide there were 19.5 million refugees (up from 16.7 million in 2013), 38.2 million people displaced inside their own countries (up from…

Daily World News Digest, 3 July 2015

Congo-Brazzaville: Mass deportations

Amnesty International issued a statement on 2 July arguing that police violence, persecution, arbitrary detentions and rape amid a security operation to deport tens of thousands of DR Congo nationals from Congo-Brazzaville last year were part of widespread attacks that could amount to crimes against humanity. “Operation Mbata ya Bakolo: mass expulsions of foreign nationals in the Republic of Congo” documents a range of human rights violations and crimes under international law committed by Congolese security forces and others from April to September last year. During this period, at least 179,000 DRC nationals, including many refugees and asylum seekers, were rounded up, arbitrarily arrested, and forced to leave Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Amnesty said. http://bit.ly/1HxNRJj

Call for action on missing persons in Kashmir

Pakistan Observer reports today that human rights group, “Voice of Victims” has asked India to disclose the whereabouts of disappeared persons, implement the recommendations…