Monthly Archives: January 2016

Daily World News Digest, 29 January 2016

Dispute over official figures from “Dirty War” draws ire in Argentina

El País carried a story on 28 January saying that one the latest controversies in Argentina is the exact number of victims who actually disappeared during the military’s so-called “Dirty War.” “In Argentina, 30,000 people didn’t go missing. That figure was negotiated on a bargaining table,” said Dario Lopérfido, a close aide to Macri – the new conservative President. Lopérfido said that the figure is closer to 9,000. Estela de Carlotto, one of the directors of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo said she is upset by all the questioning. “We are still receiving complaints about grandchildren who were born in captivity because more people are willing to come forward and tell the truth”, she said.

24 die after Iraqi Kurdish refugees’ boat sinks off Greek Island

The New York Times reported on 28 January that at least…

Daily World News Digest, 28 January 2016

US notes missing in Sri Lanka at UNSC Arria meeting

Colombo Gazette, a daily from Sri Lanka, reported today that the US discussed the issue of missing persons in Sri Lanka during a UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on the Global Challenge of Accounting for Missing Persons. The Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, Samantha Power, spoke about her visit to Sri Lanka and the missing persons issue. She said that in recent months, she had the opportunity to visit two countries afflicted by huge numbers of missing and disappeared: Sri Lanka and Mexico. She said that relatives of victims in both Mexico and Sri Lanka spoke of how disappearances upended virtually every aspect of their lives.

Impunity follows disappearances in Mexico, says Sister Consuelo at Arria meeting

Proceso, a magazine from Mexico, carried a story on 27 January saying that recently awarded human rights activist, Sister Consuelo…

A Cornerstone of Peacebuilding – Addressing the Issue of Missing and Disappeared Persons


28 January 2016: The cross-cutting global challenge of accounting for missing and disappeared persons can be addressed effectively through a coherent international policy, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told at briefing for senior diplomats at the United Nations in New York today.

The issue of missing persons and enforced disappearances is linked to international peace and security, he said. “Appropriate legislation and adequate frameworks are needed for processes to account for the missing. Mechanisms to clarify the fate of missing persons need to be transparent and depoliticised, and the needs of the missing should be at the center of any action, including families of the missing.”

The briefing on accounting for missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration and other involuntary causes was organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons and hosted by the…

Daily World News Digest, 27 January 2016

Bones of 86 Turkish Cypriots found

Cyprus Mail issued a news on 26 January saying that experts have found the remains of 86 Turkish Cypriot civilians buried in a mass grave at the village of Santalaris in Turkish occupied Famagusta. The victims were from the villages of Santalaris, Maratha, and Aloda, inhabited entirely by Turkish Cypriots, which were located next to each other in the Famagusta district. According to the Committee on missing persons, teams of experts were digging in seven locations in the North and one in the Republic.

Missing and disappeared persons most likely dead says Sri Lanka prime minister

The Tamil Guardian reported on 26 January that those that surrendered at the end of the war and are still missing in Sri Lanka are ‘most probably dead’ said Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickrememsinghe. When asked about the fate of missing persons and those that surrendered…

Daily World News Digest, 26 January 2016

Police forces discover new mass grave in western Iraq

Press TV, Iranian broadcasting service, carried a story today saying that Iraqi police have found a new mass grave in the western province of Anbar, containing the remains of scores of people believed to have been executed by Takfiri Daesh militants. The source said the mass grave is thought to contain the remains of as many as 50 civilians and soldiers killed by Daesh on 28 December. Many of the bodies bear signs of torture or other violence, including bullet wounds, and some have even been dismembered and decapitated. The discovery came more than a week after Iraqi Kurdish fighters found a mass grave in the country’s northwestern town of Sinjar.

Sri Lanka Missing Persons Panel seeks extension of mandate

The Indian Express reported today that the Sri Lankan Missing Persons’ Commission headed by retired Justice Maxwell Paranagama, has requested the…

Daily World News Digest, 25 January 2016

Sri Lanka: Fulfill Rights Council call for justice

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today saying that the Sri Lankan government should fulfill its commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council by ensuring that foreign judges and prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability mechanism for wartime abuses. Human Rights Council member should make clear that foreign participation in a war crimes tribunal was already decided by the council and is not subject to renegotiation. In line with its commitments, the government should be implementing its plans for a war crimes tribunal with international participation, a Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation, and Non-recurrence, and an Office on Missing Persons. Progress on those commitments has been slow and not wholly transparent.

Missing Hong Kong publishers: Wife of Lee Bo says she reunited with her husband

The Independent reported on 24 January that the wife of one of the…

Daily World News Digest, 22 January 2016

Sri Lanka president wants “internal” war crimes court

The BBC reported on 21 January that the president of Sri Lanka has said foreign judges and prosecutors should not be involved in an investigation into allegations of war crimes. President Maithripala Sirisena said the country did not need to “import” specialists. Both the army and the Tamil Tiger rebels are accused of atrocities in the civil war that ended in 2009. The government previously backed a UN resolution calling for a war crimes court supported by foreign judges. The president also dismissed reports from the advocacy group Freedom from Torture that people in detention were still being tortured.

Three Al Jazeera journalists kidnapped in Yemen

Doha News, a daily news website, reported today that three members of an Al Jazeera Arabic news crew have been kidnapped in Yemen, the news channel said in a statement last night as it called for…

Czech Republic Donation to ICMP

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21 January 2015: The Czech Republic has donated 15,000 Euros to support ICMP’s Western Balkans program. The donation was confirmed by Czech Ambassador Jakub Skalnik during a meeting this morning with the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans program, Matthew Holliday.

“This contribution will have a practical impact on our work, as activities within ICMP’s Western Balkans program, including civil society engagement, forensic operations and DNA testing and matching, are scheduled through 2019 and securing funding for these activities is essential,” Matthew Holliday said.

Ambassador Skalnik described the donation as “an expression of the Czech Republic’s continued commitment to the work of accounting for the missing from the conflict in the Western Balkans and the solidarity of the people of the Czech Republic with the people of the region.”

Daily World News Digest, 21 January 2016

Mexico: More than 6,000 children disappeared

Prensa Latina reported on 20 January that more than six thousand children and adolescents are disappeared in Mexico, said today the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jesus Peña. The diplomat appeared before the Senate and stated that 30 percent of persons who disappeared between 2006 and 2014 in Mexico are minors or adolescents. Ismael Eslava, the first visitor of the National Commission of Human rights, urged to discuss in the general law in the Senate. He says it is necessary to give priority to the search of minors and adolescents, and to write a penal type of sanction that aggravates the punishment when the missing person is younger than 18.

Guatemala: Judge to investigate military for disappearances of indigenous people

The Latin Correspondent carried a story on 20 January saying that a Guatemalan judge has re-opened proceedings against 11 retired…

Daily World News Digest, 20 January 2016

UN report: Islamic State has held 3,500 people as slaves in Iraq

CNBC carried a story today saying that an estimated 3,500 people, mainly women and children, are being held as slaves in Iraq by Islamic State militants, the UN said on Tuesday. The Islamist group, which also controls large parts of Syria, is responsible for acts that may “amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide”, particularly against minorities, a report said. Iraqi security forces and allied groups including Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have also killed and abducted civilians, it said. Between 800 and 900 children in Mosul had been abducted for military and religious training. Report says the intent of the Islamic State was clear – international crime of genocide against Yazidi people.

Family of missing Srinagar chemist accepts his death after 14 years

Hindustan Times reported today that for the first time in 25 years, a family…