Monthly Archives: March 2016

Daily World News Digest, 21 March 2016

Prince Charles pays respects to Kosovo’s missing on final day of Balkan tour

The Telegraph carried a story on 19 March saying that Prince Charles on Saturday paid tribute to those missing since the 1998-1999 Kosovo war and to NATO-led peacekeepers killed there, on the last leg of a week-long Balkans tour. The 1990s Balkan wars claimed more than 130,000 lives and displaced millions of people. More than 13,000 people were killed in Kosovo, where pro-independence ethnic Albanian guerrillas fought the Serbian forces of late strongman Slobodan Milosevic. Almost 17 years after the war in Kosovo some 1,600 people, mostly ethnic Albanians, have still been unaccounted for. http://bit.ly/1RaFxTg

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016 Near 155,000; Deaths Reach 467

IOM issued a statement on 18 March saying that with winter ending and warmer conditions prevailing, the Central Mediterranean migrant route between North Africa and Sicily has become busier, indicating a surge of…

Daily World News Digest, 18 March 2016

Finding names and peace for Vietnam’s war dead

Deutsche Welle carried a story today saying that with German support, the Vietnamese government has begun an effort to identify the remains of 500,000 war dead. But the effects of decades-long contamination will make this a tough task. Now the government has decided to systematically deal with the entirety of graves in the country once and for all. The genetic material is “very strongly degraded” due to climate in Vietnam and this will be a challenge for experts. Experts point out to the participation of the ICMP, which collects data on persons gone missing as a result of war and natural disaster. It’s important that the ICMP shares the lessons it gathered in former Yugoslavia with the Vietnamese, experts say. http://bit.ly/1nTy40i

Ukraine: Fear and repression in Crimea in 2 years of Russian rule

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today saying that Russian…

Daily World News Digest, 17 March 2016

Kurdistan to show Yezidi mass graves to ICC as evidence of ISIS genocide

Rudaw, a weekly from Kurdistan Region, reported today that Kurdish authorities have selected 25 Yezidi mass graves in Iraq for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to examine and possibly recognize the ISIS onslaught against the religious minority as genocide. The Kurdish Minister of Social Affairs Muhammad Hawdinai said the graves had largely been left undisturbed for ICC specialists to analyze and collect proof for a case to identify the mass murder by the Islamic State group (ISIS) as genocide. The evidence include the Solage mass grave, east of the Yezidi town of Shingal, where remains of more than 70 people were discovered in November 2015. http://bit.ly/1SV5wk0

Egypt: Sisi vows to pursue Italian student’s murderers

AllAfrica news portal carried a story today saying that the Egyptian team in charge of investigating the murder of an Italian researcher in Cairo…

Daily World News Digest, 16 March 2016

ICMP holds discussions on war missing

Daily Financial Times (http://bit.ly/1ptnL4O), Viva Lanka (http://bit.ly/1RNtusC) news portal and Colombo Gazette (http://bit.ly/1PbjI1F) from Sri Lanka reported today that ICMP and the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) held a roundtable discussion in Trincomalee to analyze requirements for a systematic and effective process to account for those who are missing as a result of more than 25 years of conflict. The event will be followed by a roundtable in Colombo on Thursday. This is part of an initiative organized by a consortium of agencies operating as part of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC). These include an examination of the overall objectives of the missing persons process in Sri Lanka.

Thailand: Junta critic feared disappeared

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 15 March saying that Thai authorities should immediately disclose the whereabouts of an outspoken critic of the government who has…

Roundtable on Issue of Missing Persons in Sri Lanka

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala: FAFG) held a roundtable in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, on Monday to analyze requirements for a systematic and effective process to account for those who are missing as a result of more than 25 years of conflict.

Monday’s event will be followed by a roundtable in Colombo on Thursday. This is part of an initiative organized by a consortium of agencies operating as part of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC). The Roundtables are co-hosted by the Centre for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (CPPHR) in Trincomalee and the Centre for Human Rights Development (CHRD) in Colombo.

In November, ICMP and FAFG conducted a series of consultations in Sri Lanka with families of…

Daily World News Digest, 15 March 2016

Venezuela recovers remains of 14 missing miners

Yahoo News carried a story today saying that searchers on Monday recovered the remains of 14 people belonging to a group of over 20 missing miners believed to have been killed by a gang seeking control over a wildcat gold claim in southeastern Venezuela, government officials said. The circumstances behind the massacre remain unclear. Ortega said she believes 21 people were killed by a criminal gang led by an Ecuadorean. But opposition politicians and relatives who have said they witnessed the attack put the number at 28 and contend local officials were involved, a claim the government denies. http://yhoo.it/1TKzQiz

Kenya’s vicious war against its youth

Foreign Policy carried a story 14 March saying that through a conspiracy of public apathy and sinister cover-ups, Kenyan security forces have essentially acquired carte blanche to kill and disappear citizens, particularly young ones, on the pretext of fighting…

Daily World News Digest, 14 March 2016

CMP expects fresh information from Turkey on mass graves

Famagusta Gazette reported on 12 March that the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) expects to get fresh information from Ankara on the location of mass graves in the Turkish-occupied part Cyprus, following a relevant decision, adopted recently by the Council of Europe`s Committee of Ministers. Commenting on the decision, Nestoras Nestoros, the Greek Cypriot Member of the CMP, said on Saturday that this is another step in resolving this humanitarian issue and expressed hope that Turkey will comply. He also said that producing results is all what matters and underlined the crucial nature of having successful exhumations on mass graves within the course of this year, for the excavation program to continue unimpeded. http://bit.ly/1LlHBbY

Nigeria: No justice for the 640 men and boys slain by military two years ago

AllAfrica news portal carried a story today saying that two years after at…

Daily World News Digest, 11 March 2016

Red Cross: Number of missing persons in Colombia has risen to 79,000

Latin American Herald Tribune reported today that the number of missing persons in Colombia has risen to 79,000, according to an official tally cited by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It said there was no precise figure on those missing as a direct result of the armed conflict, although “they are believed to total over 45,000 based on figures from the consolidated Register of Victims.” Those numbers “exceed those of any other country in the hemisphere and those of the majority of recent armed conflicts worldwide.” http://bit.ly/1RaMpDo

Unprecedented UNHRC joint statement condemns China’s problematic violations

Voice of America carried a story on 10 March saying that the US and Western countries have criticized “China’s ongoing problematic human rights record,” in an unprecedented joint statement issued Thursday during a United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva.  The…

Daily World News Digest, 10 March 2016

Abduction victims speak out as Zimbabwe lawyers launch book on disappearances

Voice of America carried a story on 9 March saying that as victims of enforced disappearances and activists marked a year since the alleged abduction of activist Itai Dzamara, some victims blamed the state for the abductions of innocent Zimbabweans. Concelia Chinanzvavana, who was abducted during the 2008 elections in Mashonaland West Speaking, said failure by government to punish those who abduct innocent Zimbabweans shows that the state is complicit in the abductions and the heinous act will continue. Some activists were allegedly abducted and killed in 2008 by suspected state agents and up to now no one has been arrested in connection with the case. http://bit.ly/1phKVuU

Tunisia presents its report on enforced disappearance before UN Committee in Geneva

Agence Tunis Afrique Press carried a story on 9 March saying that Tunisia presented on 7 and 8 March in Geneva…

World News Digest February

Forensic science workers carry an unidentified body at the cemetery in La Macarena, Colombia. Investigators are digging up bodies in hopes of identifying 464 people buried in unmarked graves. Photo credit: AP/Fernando Vergara

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.

 China

On 2 February Voice of America reported a statement by China’s Foreign Ministry denying that the country’s law enforcement officials had or would do anything illegal, especially overseas. This was in response to a US call for China to clarify the status of five missing Hong Kong booksellers. The booksellers, specializing in books critical of China’s Communist Party leaders, are believed to have been abducted by mainland agents. The Wall Street Journal