Yearly Archives: 2017

Daily World News Digest, 22 December 2017

Steep rise in abductions in Chechnya

Citing his oversight of “an administration involved in disappearances and extrajudicial killings,” the US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov. Over the past two years, Russian rights organizations have registered a steady increase in the number of Chechens detained or abducted by security personnel, many of whom subsequently disappeared without trace. In January 2016, Memorial reported that at least 24 people had been apprehended during the previous three months, one of whom had since been found dead. Two months ago, the news portal Caucasian Knot estimated that no fewer than 43 people had been reported missing by their families in Chechnya since the start of the year. A further seven abductions were reported in late November.

Myanmar military to investigate mass grave

The Myanmar military has announced that its own investigation team will find out whether security forces…

Daily World News Digest, 21 December 2017

Canada: insufficient data on missing Indigenous women

A survey of police forces in Canada shows a patchwork approach to gathering and cataloguing information on the disappearance of Indigenous women, with some agencies keeping track of the race, ethnicity or cultural affinity of murder victims but not of those who’ve gone missing. “Unless we have this data, unless we have the numbers that are showing us what sort of trends are happening across this country … we can’t understand the reasons that our women are going missing,” said Francyne Joe, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Iraq: accounting for the dead in Mosul

The battle to drive Da’esh from Mosul killed thousands more civilians than has previously been reported, according to the Associated Press. Iraqi or coalition forces were responsible for at least 3,200 civilian deaths from airstrikes, artillery fire or mortar rounds between October 2016 and July 2017. Most of those…

Daily World News Digest, 20 December 2017

 Land rights activists face enforced disappearance

Communities around the world are locked in deadly struggles against governments, companies and criminal gangs exploiting land for products such as timber, minerals and palm oil. At least 116 people were killed between 1 January and 30 November, according to advocacy group PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP). The Philippines accounted for 61 victims, followed by Brazil with 22. A separate estimate by advocacy group Global Witness puts the number of victims at 170 so far this year. Meanwhile, in its global report, “Deadly but Preventable Attacks: Killings and Enforced Disappearances of Those who Defend Human Rights“, Amnesty International has said India is among the deadliest countries for defenders of rights related to land, territory and the environment.

Investigation into human trafficking fatalities in Malaysia

An investigation in Malaysia into mass killings in the north of the country in 2015 has revealed evidence suggesting a coordinated…

Ireland Supports ICMP In Global Effort To Locate Missing And Disappeared Persons

The Hague, 19 December 2017: The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Irish Aid) has donated 150,000 Euros to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to assist ICMP’s global effort to tackle the issue of missing persons.

“The Irish government has been a generous supporter of ICMP since 2002, with contributions amounting to more than 1 million Euros,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today. “We are grateful for this renewed support, which will directly facilitate ICMP’s policy and technical assistance programs globally, including in Iraq, the MENA region, and Latin America.” 

The funding will help ICMP to operate its cross-cutting programs – Institution and Civil Society Development, Science and Technology, Data Systems, Justice Sector Assistance, and the Center for Excellence and Training. Through these programs, ICMP helps governments to build rule-of-law institutions that successfully and impartially…

Daily World News Digest, 19 December 2017

Swiss grant helps identify migrants lost at sea

Thanks to a donation of $400,000 (340,000 euros) from Switzerland, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will work over the next two years to set up a program to locate and identify people who have died during perilous journeys across the Mediterranean. About 8,000 migrants are known to have died in Italian waters alone in the past decade, ICMP director Kathryne Bomberger said. With the new Swiss funding, ICMP will work with Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta “to take stock of where they stand” in efforts to account for the missing.

Missing migrants in southern Arizona

The remains of nearly 3,000 immigrants who died after illegally crossing the border have been found since 2001 in southern Arizona, the deadliest corridor along the southwestern border of the US. Nearly 1,000 have yet to be identified, while hundreds of missing migrants who are believed to have…

Daily World News Digest, 18 December 2017

Enforced disappearances cloud public security in Mexico

By the end of 2017, the Mexican government projects, more than 27,000 people will have died in violence fueled by warfare among cartels, political corruption and an increase in US demand for narcotics. On Friday, the government formalized the use of soldiers on the streets, generating an angry response from critics, who fear the move will lead to more violence and human rights abuses. Over the years, the once-revered military has seen its popularity plummet and found itself at the center of a number of human rights scandals, including extrajudicial killings of suspected gang members and the 2014 disappearance of 43 college students near an army base in Guerrero.

Enforced disappearance in Bangladesh

Ain O Salish Kendra, a rights group based in Dhaka, reports that 524 people have been subjected to enforced disappearance in Bangladesh between 2010 and 2017. Of these, 190 have…

L’ICMP reçoit le soutien de la Suisse

La Haye, le 18 décembre: L’ICMP (Commission internationale des personnes disparues) a le plaisir d’annoncer que le Département Fédéral des Affaires Etrangères suisse (DFAE) soutiendra son programme sur les migrants disparus dans la région méditerranéenne à hauteur de 400 000 dollars US au cours des deux prochaines années. L’objectif de ce programme est d’améliorer la coopération et les procédures techniques entre les autorités gouvernementales pour trouver des solutions au problème des migrants qui disparaissent en essayant de traverser la Méditerranée.

Le programme est conçu pour renforcer la capacité des pays méditerranéens à localiser et identifier les migrants disparus.

« Depuis de longues années, l’ICMP a développé un partenariat solide et efficace avec le gouvernement suisse. Cette subvention nous permettra de fournir une assistance ciblée dans un domaine politique dont les conséquences sont importantes pour de nombreux pays, en particulier en Europe, au…

ICMP receives support from Switzerland

The Hague, 18 December: On the Occasion on International Migrants Day today, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that it has just been granted 400,000 USD over the next two years by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland to support ICMP’s Missing Migrants Program for the Mediterranean Region. The objective of the program is to improve cooperation and technical processes among government authorities to account for migrants who go missing trying to cross the Mediterranean.

The program is designed to strengthen the capacity of Mediterranean countries to locate and identify missing migrants.

“ICMP has developed a strong and effective working partnership with the government of Switzerland over a considerable period of time, and this grant will allow us to provide targeted assistance in a policy area that has implications for a number of countries, particularly…

Daily World News Digest, 15 December 2017

ICMP – Blood, bone residues and DNA samples to remain in BiH

ICMP has transferred many of its key functions including the laboratory from BIH to the Netherlands but will maintain a regional office in BIH, which will continue to store samples from the region and provide other types of technical assistance as before. The same ICMP Standard Operating Procedures and the highest data protection measures will be applied. All BIH AM and PM samples that have already been processed by ICMP will remain in BIH.

 Mass graves in Democratic Republic of Congo

The BBC reports on the horrific violence that began in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s central Kasai region last spring. “Day by day the truth recedes from view. It is concealed by thick grasses. Only a few fragments of bone and shreds of cloth reach from the earth and demand attention.” One eyewitness reports that “The military…

Daily World News Digest, 14 December 2017

US urges Serbia to tackle Kosovo massacre

The US State Department has brought a report by the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Centre NGO about a cover-up of crimes in Kosovo to the attention of Serbia’s recently-appointed war crimes prosecutor. “We believe that those guilty of moving the bodies of Albanian civilians from Kosovo to clandestine mass graves in Serbia to conceal evidence of earlier massacres should be brought to justice,” said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. The January 2017 report details mass graves in Serbia containing the bodies of 941 Kosovo Albanians, mainly civilians killed outside combat situations in Kosovo in 1999.

Enforced disappearance in Southeast Asia

The Bangkok Post has published an opinion piece on Sombath Somphone, the activist who disappeared in Laos on 15 December 2012. Sombath had challenged land deals negotiated by the Lao government that would have resulted in the mass relocation of villagers. A…