Italy Recovers Boat That Sank With 700 Migrant Onboard; Hopes to ID Victims
NBC News reports today that the Italian navy announced it has recovered the migrant ship that sank off Sicily on 18 April 2015 with an estimated 700 people onboard in one of the worst known tragedies of the Mediterranean migrant crisis. On that night, the boat carrying between 700 and 800 migrants, most of them African, capsized as a civilian freighter approached. Most of the dead are never exhumed or identified, only 28 survived. Soon after the tragedy, Italy pledged to recover the relic and is hoping that the exercise will help create a European network to identify victims by cross-checking data. The navy announced that Italy is about to begin removing the remains of hundreds of people from a sunken migrant boat after raising it from the seabed. http://bit.ly/29bFpXq
UN Human Rights Chief says Sri Lanka…
Twenty years ago today, at the G-7 summit in Lyon, US President Bill Clinton proposed the establishment of the International Commission on Missing Persons, ICMP. Writing in Vecernji list, Oslobodjenje and Glas Srpske on the occasion of ICMP’s 20th anniversary, Director-General Kathryne Bomberger noted that few would have believed in 1996 how much could be achieved.
“The prospects for a sustained and effective effort to account for the tens of thousands of missing people in former Yugoslavia seemed poor. Two decades on, an integrated system – combining the establishment of dedicated institutions and legislation to address the issue of the missing, a rule of law approach, engagement of the families of the missing, and modern scientific methods – has delivered extraordinary results.”
Noting that more than 70 percent of the 40,000 who were missing have been acounted for, Bomberger wrote that “in order to…
Two Decades of Accounting for the Missing
Vecernjilist.ba, a daily newspaper from Bosnia and Herzegovina, carries an op-ed today by ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger marking ICMP’s 20th anniversary. Bomberger writes that “after a conflict, when large numbers of people cannot be accounted for, the rule of law is challenged in a fundamental way. Citizens rightly question the credibility of authorities that cannot or will not establish what happened to thousands of their fellow citizens and who cannot or will not take steps to bring those responsible for disappearances to justice. Finding the missing is about helping survivors, but it is also about upholding the rule of law; it is about ensuring that those who were responsible are brought to justice. It is about preventing any attempt to cover up the crime or to deny that it happened.” Op-eds by Kathryne Bomberger also appeared in newspapers throughout the Western Balkans today….
Abandoned with no name: The Story of Unidentified Migrants
The Rai TV network from Italy reported on 27 June on the thousands of migrants who have died trying to reach Europe, noting that there is no integrated system to count deaths. It said bodies that are washed up on the coast are deposited without identification and without ceremony in graveyards of Southern Italy and Greece. Their families may never know their fate. http://bit.ly/28ZMN38
Report on Torture in Syria
The Syrian Network for Human Rights issued a report on 27 June on torture practices inside detention centers in Syria. The report, published on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture entitled: “Remaining Detainees Must Be Rescued” is based on the Network’s archive built through daily monitoring and documenting since 2011. All statistics and numbers are recorded with names, pictures, place and date of death or detention and other details.
More than 3,300 migrants rescued off Libya
Yahoo News reported on 26 June that a total of 3,324 migrants were rescued off Libya on Sunday in 26 different operations, according to the Italian coastguard, bringing to more than 10,000 the total saved since Thursday. There were no reports of confirmed or suspected casualties after the operations to pick up migrants packed on to 25 rubber dinghies and one wooden boat, all of which were rescued less than 35 miles from the Libyan coast. Coastguard and navy boats took part in the rescues, along with vessels operated by Eunavformed, the EU borders agency Frontex and the charities Doctors without Borders (MSF) and Sea Watch. http://yhoo.it/28XMmcB
Sri Lanka wants the world to forget about justice for war victims. Please don’t
The Guardian carried an opinion piece on 27 June regarding the resolution of October 2015 co-sponsored by the government of Sri Lanka and…
As part of a series of events to mark its 20th anniversary, ICMP is organizing a major international panel discussion on the global challenge of missing persons.
This will take place
From 14.00 to 16.00 on 8 July 2016
At the Theater aan het Spui, Foyer
Spui 187, 2511 BN, The Hague, the Netherlands
Family members who have missing loved ones as a result of conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, forced migration and other causes, will describe their personal experience and explain the social and political strategies they have developed in order to seek truth, justice and reparation.
The Commissioners of the International Commission on Missing Persons, Thomas Miller, Knut Vollebaek, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Wim Kok, and Alistair Burt, along with ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, will participate.
The 90-minute discussion will be moderated by the award-winning war correspondent Janine…
Interpol seeks public help in tracking migrant smugglers
AP reported on 23 June that Interpol is asking the public to help find 10 suspected migrant smugglers, an unusual call issued on Thursday that reflects just how tough it is to catch those who prey on people fleeing war or poverty. The diverse nationalities of the 10 — who include people from Romania, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan — highlights the globe-spanning nature of the criminal networks involved in people smuggling, which has soared with the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants heading to Europe, many fleeing Syria’s war. The public call reflects the difficulty in tracking down people smugglers who can range from invisible bosses to boat drivers. So far, 26 people have been arrested in the Interpol-led Operation Infra Hydra, which is seeking the arrest of 180 people wanted by 31 countries. http://apne.ws/28RkyDR
5,000 migrants rescued in wave of Mediterranean…
Malaysia finds mass graves of 24 suspected human trafficking victims
Reuters reports today that the Malaysian authorities have found mass graves containing the remains of more than 20 people believed to be human trafficking victims near the border with Thailand, police said on Sunday. The heavily forested Thai-Malay border has been a transit point for smugglers bringing people to Southeast Asia by boat from Myanmar and Bangladesh. The migrants are often held for ransom in squalid detention camps and according to some accounts face torture and starvation. Police uncovered 24 bodies on Saturday in the Bukit Wang Burma area near the Malaysian border with Thailand, close to where authorities in May had found hundreds of bodies in illegal detention camps. http://reut.rs/28OQnjc
UN Human Rights Commission hears of enforced disappearance, other violations in Eritrea
AI – (Asmarino Independent), an online community for Eritreans, reported on 21 June that the Centre for Global Nonkilling…
Hungary investigates police in case of drowned migrant
Reuters reports today that Hungarian prosecutors have begun an investigation into whether police can be held criminally responsible for abuse over the death of a Syrian migrant who drowned in the Tisza River as he was trying to cross into Hungary from Serbia this month. Farhan al-Hwaish, 22, drowned in a branch of the river on 1 June when a group of migrants tried to cross into Hungary with the help of human traffickers. Police found his body two days later. His brother, who crossed with him, says he drowned after Hungarian police guarding the border on the river bank threw objects at them, sprayed them with gas and unleashed attack dogs to prevent them from climbing out of the water. http://reut.rs/28N7DWF
Increase in migrants reaching Aegean islands fuels concern
Ekathimerini-com reported on 21 June that the influx of would-be migrants into Greece…
Identifying migrants who have drowned
Swissinfo.ch, reported on 20 June that three years after the migrant boat tragedy in Lampedusa, in which 366 people drowned, relatives are still trying to identify bodies in order to conduct a dignified burial. It’s a difficult but important process which is being supported by the Swiss Red Cross. “We told them several times that they shouldn’t set out, but they didn’t listen. One day they got into a boat heading for Europe. We haven’t heard from them since,” says Bila Bila Barre from Somalia, recounting the story of her two nephews Hussene (20) und Maxamud (19). They wanted to travel to Italy via Libya. http://bit.ly/28JQmKa
Hong Kong leader to express concern over booksellers
The BBC reported on 20 June that Hong Kong’s chief executive will take up the alleged kidnapping of five booksellers with the central Chinese government in Beijing. CY Leung added he would review the way…