Monthly Archives: October 2015

Daily World News Digest, 20 October 2015

Kashmir: Report exposed atrocities committed by India

The Nation, a daily from Pakistan, reported today that two international associations launched a report on Saturday revealing a negative role of India in the Kashmir state, which resulted in widespread deaths and destruction, systematic violence, mass graves and countless cases of torture and sexual violence. The report on structures of violence was compiled by the International Peoples Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK) and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). The report titled ‘’Structures of violence, the Indian state in Jammu and Kashmir’’ was published by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR). In the report patterns of violence have been identified, individual state actors have been named and phenomenon such as unmarked graves, enforced disappearances and the government gunmen have been brought to light. KIIR Executive Director, Sardar Amjad Yousuf, said “We demand DNA profiling of those…

Daily World News Digest, 19 October 2015

Colombia and FARC rebels reach deal on missing people

Al Jazeera reported on 18 October that the Colombian government and leftist FARC rebels said they will work together to locate thousands of people who disappeared during more than 50 years of conflict, as the two sides take the final steps toward a peace deal. According to the deal both sides agreed to give information on people who died, whether in combat or as victims of kidnappings, enforced disappearances or massacres. The Latin American country’s attorney general estimates 52,000 people have disappeared during Latin America’s longest war. Victim groups say between 70,000 and 100,000 people may have gone missing. De la Calle said at a news conference in the Colombian capital, Bogota, that an independent commission would be created to oversee the search for the missing. The government and rebels will also furnish the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)…

Daily World News Digest, 16 October 2015

Azerbaijan’s Minister of National Security discusses missing persons issue with ICRC Regional Director

Azerbaijan State News Agency reported on 15 October that Azerbaijan’s Minister of National Security, Colonel General Eldar Mahmudov, who also chairs the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People, received Patrick Vial, the regional director for Europe and Central Asia of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Mahmudov said the cooperation between ICRC and State Commission was in general constructive and continues on mutually beneficial ground, expressing hope for further development of this cooperation. The Commission Chairman stressed the fact that the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict still remains unsettled. The minister noted that the State Commission has registered 4,013 Azerbaijani citizens as missing persons, 1,434 people were set free from Armenian captivity or hostage during the conflict and the Commission’s working group has in recent years learned the fates of 1,078 people. He said…

Daily World News Digest, 15 October 2015

What will happen with missing indigenous women after the elections in Canada?

Leader Post, a daily from Canada, carried a story today saying that it has been two years since the police confirmed Maxine Goforth’s 21-year-old daughter Kelly was dead. Making the news even worse was being told her daughter’s body was found in a garbage bin. Maxine is not alone. In May 2014, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) released a report, ‘’Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview’’, that stated there were 1,076 murdered indigenous women in Canada. In the report, the RCMP acknowledges the numbers likely change and that in 2015, aboriginal women continue to be overrepresented in all missing and murdered persons’ cases in Canada. Maxine is one of the families who is pushing for the federal government to launch a national inquiry into the issue.  There have been many calls for a national…

Daily World News Digest, 14 October 2015

President of Ecuador shows willingness to solve missing persons’ cases

Prensa Latina reported on 13 October that President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, spoke with the families of the missing persons in the country and reaffirmed the government’s willingness to move forward with the investigation and find the victims. Such events are related to common crimes and not crimes of the state, pointed out the President in a statement released by the local news agency Andes. According to the note, during the meeting Head of the State described the previous meetings successful as they allowed detecting weaknesses such as the absence of a database, border crossing information and specialized units. With the consolidated information between the National Police and Civil Registration enforced disappearances have been implemented in the Penal Code and a comprehensive plan for resolving cases of missing persons has been created, the President state.

Azerbaijan’s FM calls Armenia…

Daily World News Digest, 13 October 2015

Štrpci train massacre trial opens in Bosnia

Balkan Insight reported on 12 October that ten former Bosnian Serb fighters have gone on trial in Sarajevo for allegedly abducting 20 passengers from a railway station in eastern Bosnia in September 1993 and then killing them. The train was travelling from Belgrade to Bar in Montenegro. The accused took about 20 civilian passengers from the train, including 18 Bosniaks, one Croat and another person described as ‘’Arabic’’, to Višegrad, where the prisoners were tortured and robbed. Later they were taken to a nearby village where 18 of them were killed, while two others were killed later while attempting to flee. The bodies are alleged to have been thrown into the Drina River; only four have been found.

Distorted remembrance culture ‘’traps Bosnia in past’’

Balkan Insight carried a story on 12 October saying that wartime divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are being…

NFI and ICMP to Collaborate on Global Missing Persons Challenge

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The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will make it possible for the two organizations to collaborate more closely.

Under the agreement, which was signed by Director-General of  the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice Gerard Roes and ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, the two organizations will cooperate on joint project proposals, provide mutual support in field operations and collaborate on rule-of-law programs that require forensic expertise and training. This builds on a strong relationship that has been developed over a period of years.

“ICMP is a very experienced institution with an outstanding reputation,” said Kees Möhring, NFI Director of External Relations. “It is a specialist in using DNA methods for identification. DNA is also a specialty of the NFI, both for identification purposes and forensic purposes. Combining the skills and expertise…

Daily World News Digest, 12 October 2015

Mexico posts probe into 43 missing students online

Global Post reported on 11 October that Mexico’s Attorney General Office posted on its website 54,000 pages of documents from the much-criticized investigation into a case that has bedeviled President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration. A review of hundreds of pages found contradictory testimonies among some of the more than 100 suspects who have been detained, including Guerreros Unidos drug cartel members and municipal police officers. The report — divided into 85 tomes and 13 annexes with several redacted names and paragraphs — was made public by Attorney General Arely Gomez following freedom of information requests from journalists. It is rare for Mexican authorities to make investigative documents public online. Mexican prosecutors declared last year that 43 missing students were incinerated at a landfill, but official documents show that one gang suspect testified that at least nine students were slaughtered elsewhere. Last month,…

Nepal Needs Holistic Approach to Missing Persons Issue

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Members of the Common Platform, a coalition of family members and groups representing victims of the 1996-2006 conflict in Nepal, have highlighted the challenge of accounting for the 1,300 people still missing from the decade-long conflict in Nepal.

Thirteen members of the Common Platform visited ICMP’s offices in Sarajevo this week, where they toured the DNA laboratory, and were briefed on ICMP’s operations around the globe before meeting members of the Regional Coordination, an organization that groups together associations of families of the missing from former Yugoslavia.

The visitors highlighted the challenges facing those who are seeking to account for the missing in Nepal, which include rugged terrain and the relative inaccessibility of many parts of the country.

Thousands of people were victims of enforced disappearance during the conflict between Maoist insurgents and the Royalist government. The conflict ended with a peace agreement that…

Daily World News Digest, 9 October 2015

Colombia: Agreement on victims of enforced disappearances

The Telesur news portal reported on 8 October that the government of Colombia and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas are expected to take another step forward in peace negotiations after announcing a new agreement concerning the victims of enforced disappearances. The two sides are expected to present a method by which families could be informed about what happened to victims, if they are alive or dead, or where the bodies can be found. The announcement is expected to be made after the close of the 42nd round of peace talks, which are currently underway in Cuba.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges Mexico to end enforced disappearances 

New Europe, a Belgian weekly, carried a story on 9 October reporting a statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein that despite significant progress towards building a…