Monthly Archives: January 2017

Canada Supports ICMP’s Efforts to Help Iraq Find Missing Persons

The Government of Canada will support the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to assist Iraq in locating and identifying missing persons in liberated areas of Iraq, and to respond to demands from victims’ families for justice and accountability. Canada will provide ICMP with CAN $2,291,923 to support this effort.

Under the contribution agreement that entered into force on January 1, 2017, the Government of Canada will fund ICMP activities to increase the effectiveness of Iraqi authorities in recovering and safeguarding human remains from mass graves in areas liberated from Da’esh, and increase the participation of family members, particularly women and girls, in the process of locating and identifying missing relatives.

The contribution has been made by Global Affairs Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, which is part of Canada’s toolkit for promoting international peace, security and stability.  The Program complements…

Daily World News Digest, 24 January 2017

Migrant vessel capsizes off Malaysia

The Hindustan Times reported yesterday that ten people were confirmed dead and about 30 missing after a boat believed to be carrying Indonesian irregular immigrants capsized in rough seas off Malaysia. The bodies of six women and four men were washed ashore at a beach near the east coast town of Mersing earlier on Monday, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said. A search is underway for the missing.

Iraq executes 31 convicted of role in Speicher Camp massacre

Iraqi News reported yesterday that Iraqi judicial authorities on Monday executed 31 convicts linked to a Da’esh massacre that left 1,700 Iraqi air force cadets dead in 2014. The massacre occurred at the Speicher air base in Tikrit, when Islamic State militants executed 1,700 Shia air force cadets. The victims were either shot or beheaded before their corpses were dumped into the Tigris River.

Turkey accused…

Daily World News Digest, 23 January 2017

Mexico identifies human remains from mass grave

VOA news reports today that fifty-six sets of human remains have been identified one year after a mass grave was discovered in Mexico’s northern border state of Nuevo Leon. Twenty-four sets of remains were identified through DNA testing and matched existing profiles belonging to people who had been reported missing since 2010. The DNA profiles of 32 other people were found in the bones, but they could not immediately be matched to anyone. Authorities are delivering the identified remains to families and are working on identifying the others from dental and bone fragments in the grave.

New prison in South Sinai for political prisoners

Daily News Egypt reported yesterday that Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Gaffar decided on Saturday to establish a central prison in the city of El Tur, the capital of the South Sinai…

Daily World News Digest, 20 January 2017

Missing Pakistani bloggers accused of blasphemy

VOA news reported yesterday that religious protesters threw stones at supporters of five missing Pakistani activists on Thursday and demanded that police charge the missing men under a blasphemy law that carries a mandatory death sentence. The liberal activists, who have posted blogs criticizing the political influence of the military and speaking up for the rights of religious minorities, have all gone missing separately since 4 January. Shortly after their disappearances, blasphemy allegations against them appeared on social media and in a complaint to police.

Sindh High Court rejects police report on missing persons

The International News reports today that the Sindh High Court accused police officials on Thursday of “incompetence” and “inefficiency” with reference to investigations into missing persons cases. Hearing petitions involving enforced disappearances, the court said that either police officers were not efficient enough to recover missing persons or were…

Daily World News Digest, 19 January 2017

Nepal conflict victims fear justice may never come

The Kathmandu Post publishes an article today on the imminent ending of the mandate of two transitional bodies formed two years ago to hear complaints on war-time human rights violations and disappearances and recommend action. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons have received 60,000 complaints. With no decision yet, even though the terms end on 10 February, on extending the mandates of the two bodies, conflict victims are increasingly worried about whether justice would ever be delivered.

Police accused of enforced disappearances in the Philippines

The South China Morning Post reported yesterday that the police force is widely regarded as one of the Philippines’ most corrupt institutions, a reputation reinforced by accusations that three officers were involved in abducting and killing a South Korean businessman. Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances by police and military forces were the…

Daily World News Digest, 18 January 2017

Ukraine sues Russia for “acts of terrorism and unlawful aggression”

The Independent reports today that Ukraine has filed a case against Russia for “acts of terrorism and unlawful aggression” at the United Nations’ highest court. The lawsuit alleges that Russia is violating international conventions on financing terrorism and racial discrimination with a campaign against non-Russian communities living in the annexed Crimean Peninsula including enforced disappearances, murders and restrictions on languages and the media.

Burundi lacks expertise to identify massacre victims

News Ghana reported yesterday that Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has said it lacks expertise to identify victims following the discovery on Tuesday of a mass grave dating from 1972. “We are doing our best to accomplish the mission, but we do not have the required expertise to identify victims of massacres,” TRC Secretary General Clotilde Niragira said Wednesday after visiting the mass grave containing human skulls and bones at…

Daily World News Digest, 17 January 2017

What’s in store for Pakistan’s missing activists?

Deutsche Welle published an article on the disappearance of social media activists in Pakistan, with demonstrators demanding that the government recover four bloggers, writers, social media activists and human rights workers who disappeared recently, as well as other possible victims of enforced disappearance. Some rights groups blame the security agencies for the apparent abductions while some accuse militant groups.

UK, US statements on Pakistan disappearances criticized

Daily Pakistan reported yesterday that Pakistan Senate Chair Mian Raza Rabbani had described statements by the US and Britain regarding recent disappearances in Pakistan as inappropriate, noting that “These countries remain silent to missing persons in Indian Occupied Kashmir and extra judicial killing of innocent persons in Kashmir and Palestine.” 

Pakistan: change seen in pattern of enforced disapearances

Dawn reported yesterday that the recent disappearances of bloggers and human rights activists are significant as they mark a…

Daily World News Digest, 16 January 2017

Nearly 100 migrants missing in central Mediterranean after wreck

CNN reported yesterday that nearly 100 people are missing after a boat carrying migrants was wrecked in the waters between Libya and Italy. Rescuers have found eight bodies and only four survivors from the boat, which was carrying 110 people in harsh sea conditions. The crossing through the Central Mediterranean is considered the world’s deadliest migration route.

21 migrants missing off the coast of southern Spain

Reuters reported on 14 January that the bodies of four migrants had been found floating off the coast of southern Spain on Saturday. Spanish media reported a boat carrying approximately 21 migrants had gone missing on Friday.

Nigeria: Comply with court order to release Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

Amnesty International issued a statement today calling on the Nigerian authorities to comply immediately with a High Court order and release the leader of the Islamic Movement of…

Daily World News Digest, 13 January 2017

Yemen: no accountability for war crimes

Human Rights Watch reported yesterday that parties to Yemen’s armed conflict violated the laws of war with impunity in 2016. Both sides to the conflict have repeatedly violated the laws of war, it said. “Since taking control of the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014, the Houthis and their allies have carried out a campaign of arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances against perceived opponents.” In addition, Human Rights Watch has documented 61 apparently unlawful Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, “some of which may amount to war crimes”.

Senate chairman seeks report from government on missing activists

The News International, a newspaper from Pakistan, reports today that Pakistan Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani has sought a report from the government on the issue of missing activists. “There are reports in newspapers that another person has been picked from Islamabad: this brings to five the number of those gone missing…

Daily World News Digest, 12 January 2017

Sri Lanka: call for implementation of transitional justice mechanisms

The Sri Lanka Guardian carries a statement today from the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in which the GTF welcomes the recommendations of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM), and calls on the Sri Lankan government to implement these recommendations fully. The recommendations allude to the need for “international expertise including judges in each transitional justice mechanism”, “both male and female judges representing all ethnic communities”, and “a special structure for women and children during examination of witnesses related to sexual crimes and crimes against children.” The CTFRM report to the government recognizes “the urgent need to address lingering concerns of militarization, enforced disappearances and livelihood opportunities to promote reconciliation,” the GTF says.

Egyptian migrant workers in Libya ‘kidnapped and tortured’

Ahram Online, a news agency from Egypt, reported yesterday that fifteen migrant workers from Egypt were kidnapped and tortured…