Monthly Archives: September 2016

Daily World News Digest, 30 September 2016

QIAGEN and ICMP to develop first NGS workflow for identification of missing persons

Yahoo Finance reported yesterday that QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) have announced collaboration on a project to enhance ICMP’s ability to identify missing persons using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. QIAGEN and ICMP will work together at ICMP’s laboratory in The Hague to develop and validate a complete NGS solution, including QIAGEN’s “Sample to Insight” GeneReader NGS System* and other QIAGEN workflow solutions, as well as innovative forensic panels designed for identification of missing persons using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Colombia: Authorities exhume 91 possible conflict victims in just one village

Colombia Reports carried a story yesterday on the investigation unit formed to exhume the bodies of people presumed to be among the tens of thousands of “disappeared”. The Unit announced on Wednesday that it had exhumed 91…

Daily World News Digest, 29 September 2016

Nigeria: Crackdown on journalists and assault on protests shrinking civic space

Amnesty International published an article yesterday arguing that “the continuing spate of arrests and detentions of journalists and bloggers amid the security forces’ violent disruption of peaceful protests underscores how the Nigerian government appears determined to crush dissent and suffocate freedom of expression”. The article notes that on 6 September, police stopped members of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement gathering to march to Aso Rock Presidential Villa to demand that the government do more to secure the release of Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram over two years ago. The police had been duly notified of the protest march. Since the abduction of the Chibok girls in April 2014, the movement has been gathering peacefully at Unity Fountain, where recently there has been a continuing police presence apparently aimed at preventing any form of civil assembly, Amnesty says. 

Daily World News Digest, 28 September 2016

UN Court clashes with Serbia over witness intimidation

Balkan Insight reports today that “Serbia’s continued non-compliance with its obligations obstructs the course of justice,” according to a memo released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia about Belgrade’s refusal to extradite three of its nationals accused of witness intimidation during the war crimes trial of Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj. The three individuals are accused of being in contempt of court for threatening witnesses at Seselj’s trial. They are also accused of blackmailing protected witnesses and offering them bribes of 500 euros not to testify.

Dutch Srebrenica peacekeepers may sue for ‘mission impossible’

Yahoo News reports today that about 100 former Dutch UN peacekeepers may sue the government for sending them to defend the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica in 1995, after the defense ministry admitted it had been a “mission impossible,” lawyers said Tuesday. The move…

Daily World News Digest, 27 September 2016

Sri Lanka allows exhumation of journalist’s remains

The National Post, a Canadian news portal, reported yesterday that a Sri Lankan court on Thursday gave permission to police to exhume the remains of a newspaper editor killed seven years ago for a fresh investigation. Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was killed while driving to work in January 2009. He was an investigative journalist who wrote about government corruption and a sharp critic of the then government’s alleged human rights violations during a civil war with ethnic Tamil rebels. A number of journalists were killed, reported as missing after being abducted by government paramilitaries, or beaten up under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration. No one has been convicted.

Wanted: a court to try Da’esh for war crimes

The National, a news portal from Abu Dhabi, reported yesterday that private war crimes investigators say they have a case to try ISIL’s…

Daily World News Digest, 26 September 2016

Mexico missing students: Unanswered questions two years on

BBC News reports today that two years have passed since 43 students went missing on their way to a protest in the Mexican town of Iguala. At the time, their disappearance caused outrage. Protests in Mexico City turned violent. But while many are still angry, the events on the night of 26 September and the early morning of 27 September 2014 have faded. The BBC visits the Raul Isidros Burgos rural teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa, where the trainee teachers were studying.

Two years after student disappearances in Mexico

Amnesty International issued a press release on 23 September indicating that a demonstration in London to be held on 26 September would see 43 chairs set out in front of Mexican Embassy to represent an empty classroom and remember the missing students. “From failing to stop the attack against the students, to preventing international efforts…

Daily World News Digest, 23 September 2016

Enforced disappearances in Egypt

Middle East Monitor reported yesterday on a statement released by the Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK), which said that cases of forced disappearance in Egypt “have become rampant” since the July 2013 coup. The families of detainees killed after being forcibly disappeared are told they were never arrested in the first place, or that they died in clashes with the police. Many letters enquiring about victims’ whereabouts or fate go unanswered. More than 37 Egyptians have been missing for longer than 3 years following their arrest in the aftermath of the July 2013 military coup, according to AOHR UK.

Sri Lanka: Office on Missing Persons

Global Voices published an article yesterday on the Office on Missing Persons in Sri Lanka. It said 11 August 2016 was an important day because Sri Lanka’s Parliament enacted legislation to establish the first permanent entity to…

Daily World News Digest, 22 September 2016

Nepal: war criminals will be prosecuted

Kathmandu Post reports today that Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Wednesday that those found guilty of committing serious crimes during the decade-long conflict will be prosecuted. Two transitional justice bodies – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons – were set up in February last year, almost nine years after the peace agreement was signed. They started collecting complaints only in March this year and now have around five months to investigate thousands of complaints. The delay in establishing the transitional bodies and amending the bill on the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act in line with the Supreme Court orders as well as international laws and transitional justice process has stoked fears among conflict victims and rights activists that they will be deprived of justice.

Migrant boat capsizes off Egyptian coast


Daily World News Digest, 21 September 2016

Sri Lanka Office of Missing Persons criticized in Geneva

The Ceylon News reported yesterday that Arulvathana Sundararajah, the wife of human rights activist Stephen Sundararajah, who was abducted in Colombo a few days before the end of the war in Sri Lanka in May 2009, has said that families of the disappeared cannot trust Sri Lanka’s judicial mechanism. Mrs Sundararajah was speaking at an event organized by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Other speakers included Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, and members of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

Enforced disappearances in Balochistan

Times Now, a news portal from India, reports today on a statement by Baloch Republican Party leader Brahamadagh Bugti in which he accuses Pakistan of extreme human rights violations and mass killings in Balochistan. “Since 13 August, nearly 260 women have been abducted; 650 cases of enforced disappearance were…

Daily World News Digest, 20 September 2016

UN to review more than 800 cases of enforced disappearance from 36 countries

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported yesterday that the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances will examine more than 800 cases from 36 countries during its 110th session in Geneva from 19 to 23 September 2016. The Working Group will discuss its next visits as well as various thematic issues related to enforced disappearances, notably the issue of enforced disappearances in the context of migration. The experts will, in addition, examine allegations received regarding obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Conference on enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) reported yesterday on an event to be held today in the Palais des Nations in Geneva, on the margins of the 33rd Regular…

Daily World News Digest, 19 September 2016

U.N. war crimes panel on Syria seeks access to refugees in Europe

Reuters reports that UN war crimes investigators today called on European countries to let them interview more newly-arrived Syrian refugees to document fresh violations, saying this has become increasingly difficult. “We are appealing to countries inside Europe hosting newly arrived Syrian refugees to grant us access and remove any barriers to our work,” Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Mujuru to visit Gukurahundi mass graves, a news portal from Zimbabwe, reported yesterday that members of the Zimbabwe People First party have vowed to take their leader Joice Mujuru to the Balagwe Mine, the single biggest mass grave of the Gukurahundi campaign in the mid-1980s, when the government of President Robert Mugabe is accused of suppressing dissent with a campaign of systematic violence. The portal reports…