Yearly Archives: 2016

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.

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 (, Viva Lanka ( news portal and Colombo Gazette ( 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

15 March 2016: 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…

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.


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

The Other Migration Crisis

Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015.. Photo by: AFP/Christophe Archambault

A UNHCR report on Mixed Maritime Movements in Southeast Asia, released on 23 February, details the unfolding tragedy of Rohingya migrants making the perilous journey south from Bangladesh and western Myanmar in search of security and work.

More than one million Rohingya live in Myanmar, mostly in Rakhine State. In the northern part of the state they form the majority. Following rioting in 2012, as many as 160,000 predominantly Muslim Rohingya (most of whom were denied citizenship under a 1982 law and therefore do not have identity papers) were forced from their homes by predominantly Buddhist ethnic Rakhines. Large numbers fled to Bangladesh; more than 100,000 sought shelter in camps for…

Latin America and the Missing

At the beginning of March Colombia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Juan Jose Quintana, hosted a meeting of diplomats from the Group of Latin American Countries in The Hague. Participants discussed the issue of missing and disappeared persons in the region.

Countries in Latin America face complex challenges related to accounting for missing persons. Several countries are grappling with issues related to transitional justice as families seek to learn the fate of loved ones who were victims of enforced disappearance under former regimes. In other countries, the rise of narco-trafficking syndicates has fomented an epidemic of disappearances with casualty figures in some cases surpassing those associated with full-scale military conflict. And at the same time, the flow of migrants from Central and South America to North America has fueled a lucrative and shockingly brutal trade in which large numbers of migrants perish at the…