Monthly Archives: May 2016

Daily World News Digest, 13 May 2016

Journalist in Pakistan may have been victim of enforced disappearance  

Global Voices carried a story on 12 May saying that nine months have passed since freelance reporter Zeenat Shahzadi was last seen, abducted on a Lahore street by Pakistani security agents, her family alleges. At the time, Shahzadi had been working on the case of Hamid Ansari, an Indian man who went missing in Pakistan in November 2012. Pakistan’s security agencies have long faced accusations of detaining individuals under the guise of counter-terrorism. In many cases, the missing turn up dead.

Nepal: 9-point deal undermines transitional justice

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 12 May saying that Nepal’s leading political parties should not bargain away justice for victims of serious human rights abuses as part of an agreement to form a new coalition government. A new agreement among the ruling parties threatens to entrench impunity for those who…

Daily World News Digest, 12 May 2016

Thailand: UN review highlights Junta’s hypocrisy

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 11 May saying that the Thai government’s pledges to the United Nations Human Rights Council to respect human rights and restore democratic rule have been mostly meaningless. Thailand signed the Convention against Enforced Disappearance in January 2012 but has not ratified the treaty. The penal code still does not recognize enforced disappearance as a criminal offense. Thai authorities have not yet satisfactorily resolved any of the 64 enforced disappearance cases reported by Human Rights Watch, including the disappearances of prominent Muslim lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit in March 2004 and ethnic Karen activist Por Cha Lee Rakchongcharoen, known as “Billy,” in April 2014.

Italy breaks up people-smuggling ring that imprisoned migrants

Reuters reported on 11 May that Italian police arrested seven people on Wednesday for running a people-smuggling ring in which Somali boat migrants who reached Italy by boat…

Daily World News Digest, 11 May 2016

Amnesty warns of illegal detentions in Nigeria

Amnesty International issued a statement today saying that eleven children under the age of six, including four babies, are among 149 people who have died this year following their detention in the Giwa barracks in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Amnesty believes that around 1,200 people are currently detained at the barracks. At least 136 men have died in detention in Giwa in 2016 including 28 men who appeared to have gunshot wounds. Bodies were brought to a mortuary in Maiduguri and from there Borno State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA) personnel took them in rubbish trucks for burial in unmarked mass graves in the Gwange cemetery. Photos taken inside the cemetery show recently dug graves in the area visited by the BOSEPA workers.

Mothers of missing people march in Mexico

Prensa Latina reported on 10 May that a group of mothers of missing people from the…

Daily World News Digest, 10 May 2016

Indonesia to form a team to verify mass graves of 1965 victims

The Jakarta Post reported on 9 May that the government will form a joint team to verify mass graves believed to contain the bodies of victims of the 1965 mass killings. The team will follow up on a report from activists on the locations of the mass graves. Chairman of the 1965 Murder Victim’s Research Foundation (YPKP 65) Bejo Untung has handed a report on several mass graves in Central Java to the government. “We will prepare a team to inspect firsthand several mass graves,” Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Monday.

Buried without a name: Europe’s drowned migrants

The BBC carried a story today saying that more than 1,250 unnamed men, women and children have been buried in unmarked graves in 70 sites in Turkey, Greece and Italy since 2014. Most…

Daily World News Digest, 9 May 2016

Accounting for the missing in Sri Lanka

The Sunday Leader reported on 9 May about issues related to accounting for the missing in Sri Lanka. It said questions have been raised, particularly regarding the transparency of the process and the timeframe during which results will be seen. It reported that the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is now involved in the effort to account for the missing in Sri Lanka. ICMP Director for Policy and Cooperation Andreas Kleiser told The Sunday Leader that ICMP has had meetings with local civil society and would now like to engage Sri Lanka institutions on the issue.

The refugee children of Idomeni

The Guardian carried a story on 7 May about the experience of chld refuges, including 16-year-old Kusai, who had hoped to reach his brother in Germany but had spent two months stranded in the squalid improvised refugee camp at Idomeni in…

Daily World News Digest, 6 May 2016

Migration Project helps Guatemalan families find missing loved ones

US-based Public Radio International carried a story on 5 May saying that Guatemala’s truth commission reported that the mostly Mayan town of Zacualpa, in the northern highlands, was the scene of genocide in the 1980s. Almost a fifth of the adult population has migrated north. Many locals pay thousands of dollars to smugglers to take them to the US, but some go missing. In that case, family members are likely to come to the convent behind the Church of Zacualpa, to the office of “Migration Project”, a local initiative supported by the human rights center at Boston College.

A quarter of child refugees arrive in EU without parents

The Guardian reported on 5 May that almost 368,000 minors sought asylum in Europe last year, the majority Syrian, Afghan or Iraqi. A quarter of all child refugees who arrived in Europe last…

Daily World News Digest, 5 May 2016

Former Argentine officer, aged 90, on trial for disappearance of activists

The Guardian reports today that the former head of Argentina’s air force and two ex-subordinates are on trial for alleged abduction and disappearance of activists during the 1976-1983 dictatorship. Omar Graffigna, 90, is accused of abducting activist couple Patricia Roisinblit and Jose Manuel Perez Rojo in 1978. What happened to the couple is unknown. Guillermo Perez Roisinblit, the son Roisinblit gave birth to during detention, is a plaintiff in the trial that began this week. He was adopted by another family. Rights groups estimate 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during the dictatorship.

MQM presents list of 171 missing workers to Pakistan Supreme Court

The News Pakistan reported on 4 May that the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) has presented the Supreme Court with a list of 171 workers who went missing in the span of a year. MQM Senator…

Daily World News Digest, 4 May 2016

Indonesia activists discover 122 mass graves 

The Jakarta Post reported on 3 May that Human rights activists in Indonesia have discovered more than 100 mass graves across the country containing the bodies of thousands of victims of the 1965-1966 anti-communist purge. The Murder Victims Research Foundation (YPKP) 1965/1966 says in its report that it has found 122 mass graves in 12 provinces across the islands of Java and Sumatra, with Central Java accounting for 50 graves. The 122 sites make up only two percent of the actual number of graves across the Indonesian archipelago, said the chief of YPKP Bedjo Untung, who added that bodies were buried under locations as varied as parks, forests, streets and housing complexes.

More than 100 migrants die en route to Italy

Reuters carried a story on 3 May saying that an estimated 113 people died in four shipwrecks between Libya and Italy at…