Monthly Archives: February 2017

Daily World News Digest, 14 February 2017

Amnesty International cites “deteriorating human rights situation” in Myanmar 

ReliefWeb published an article today about the human rights situation in Myanmar. One year after the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government took office, the deterioration in the human rights situation in Myanmar requires immediate and urgent action from the UN Human Rights Council (the Council), it says. In Rakhine State, state security forces have responded to attacks by armed groups on police posts with a campaign of violence against the Rohingya civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity. In northern Myanmar fighting between the Army and armed ethnic groups has escalated leading to fresh violations of international humanitarian and human rights law against the ethnic civilian population. 

ICC petition accuses Australia of violating refugee human rights

Jurist Twenty published an article yesterday about a petition to the International Criminal Court by legal experts regarding the offshore detention of…

Daily World News Digest, 13 February 2017

Mexico rejects findings against investigators of missing students

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the final version of an internal review by the Mexican government into the conduct of investigators searching for 43 missing students has rejected an earlier report that found that the officials’ mishandling of suspects and evidence broke the law. The original review described such serious wrongdoing, beginning with the illegal arrest of key suspects, that it threatened the foundations of the government’s legal case. The new review, led by a different official, wiped clean the most damning of those violations, leaving the government’s version of the case intact.

The investigators’ actions amounted only to technical violations, according to the new report, which was prepared by the inspector general of the attorney general’s office and given to the students’ families Thursday. The final report is “a clear example that they are covering up and diluting” investigators’…

Daily World News Digest, 10 February 2017

Torture rehabilitation center in Egypt closed 

Amnesty International reported yesterday that Egyptian authorities have closed the offices of a prominent human rights group that helps victims of violence and torture. In response, Deputy Director for campaigns at Amnesty International’s Tunis regional office Najia Bounaim said: “This is a blatant attempt by the authorities to punish the El Nadeem Center for its work supporting victims of torture and other ill-treatment and families of people subjected to enforced disappearances. The Egyptian authorities have made it increasingly clear that anyone who stands up for human rights in Egypt today is perceived as a threat. They should be providing redress to victims of torture and offering support to organizations such as El Nadeem, not storming their offices and preventing them from carrying out their valuable work.”

Ukraine: activists disappear in separatist territory

Human Rights Watch reported yesterday that a Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activist…

Daily World News Digest, 9 February 2017

More mass graves discovered in Iraq

Iraqi News reported today that the Iraqi army has found two mass graves containing the bodies of unknown victims killed by Da’esh in Anbar province. The source told Alsumaria News that a force from the army’s 1st division had found the graves in a sanitary dump behind al-Askari district in the town of Rutba, 310 km west of Ramadi. The source added that a team of forensic officials was scheduled to arrive and begin identifying the human remains.

Syria rejects Amnesty’s report of mass hangings

The Times of Israel yesterday published a rejection by Syria’s Justice Ministry of an Amnesty International report on the mass hanging of as many as 13,000 people in a prison near Damascus, calling the allegations “totally untrue” and part of a smear campaign.  The ministry’s statement said “misleading and inciting” media outlets carried the Amnesty report with the intention…

Daily World News Digest, 8 February 2017


Syrian regime detains opponents as it seeks to reassert control

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that opposition activists and residents have said that the Syrian regime is using mass detentions and other security-state tactics to snuff out dissent in places that were out of its control for years.  Most of the prisoners are civilians perceived by the Syrian regime as opponents, including protesters, political dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, doctors and humanitarian aid workers. Nearly 2,000 people were caught up in a regime dragnet in the final month as Aleppo fell to the government and its allies, according to the opposition group Syrian Network for Human Rights. Those who have recently been imprisoned are in addition to tens of thousands of detainees who human rights groups allege have been forcibly disappeared in the regime’s labyrinth of notorious prisons over the course of the war.

More flee Burundi as…

Daily World News Digest, 7 February 2017

Women in Sri Lanka use new law to seek missing loved ones: take RTI route to seek details on loved ones

The Colombo Gazette reported yesterday that a group of women in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka are attempting to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act to locate their loves ones. After years of petitioning government offices and testifying to innumerable commissions, they have decided to use the new Act to seek information about their missing relatives. In June 2016, Sri Lanka’s Parliament unanimously adopted the RTI law, inspiring hope among citizens pushing for greater transparency and accountability. The Act came into effect on 3 February 3. The same day, nearly 15 women went on foot to the District Secretariat, the provincial and district police headquarters, the Human Rights Commission and the prisons department to submit applications asking for details about their disappeared family members.

Amnesty reports mass…

Daily World News Digest, 6 February 2017

UN condemns abuse against Rohingya in Myanmar 

Global News reported on 4 February that a UN report released Friday states that thousands of Rohingya children, women, and men have suffered gang rape, killings, beatings, disappearances and other acts of cruelty at the hands of Myanmar’s police and security forces. “Things like this have been happening throughout,” Ilona Alexander, a member of the UN investigating mission, said at a news conference. “But from what we have gathered, the (recent) level is unprecedented.” The report, issued by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, documents testimony from 204 women and men who are among 66,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State since Oct. 9.

Kashmir residents protest against human right violations

International Business Times reported yesterday that residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) held a protest in Islamabad on Sunday against alleged human right violations…

Missing Persons from the Conflict in Croatia


Ahead of the publication of ICMP’s Stocktaking Report on Croatia, Matthew Holliday offers a brief overview of technical efforts undertaken by the authorities in Croatia and ICMP to account for more than 6,000 persons missing at the end of the early 1990s conflict.

In December 2016, ICMP provided the latest set of DNA identification reports to the Croatian Government Commission on Detained and Missing Persons, bringing the number of missing from the Croatian conflict that have been identified through the exchange of anonymized DNA profiles between ICMP and the Commission to more than 600. This cooperation is crucial: more than twenty years after the conflict in Croatia, the issue of the missing – including fulfilling the right of families of the missing to truth and justice – remains a complicating factor in efforts to strengthen the rule of law and promote bilateral cooperation…

Daily World News Digest, 3 February 2017

Migrant crisis: EU summit seeks action on people smuggling

The BBC reports today that European Union leaders are meeting in Malta to discuss how to stem the influx of migrants from North Africa. Boosting the Libyan coastguard and tackling people smugglers are the main proposals. Hundreds of thousands of migrants try to reach Europe each year. Many of them go missing or simply drown while crossing the Mediterranean. Most of those arriving in Libya come from a range of African countries, some fleeing persecution, many seeking a better life. Migrants have fled Nigeria, for example, because of the instability in the north caused by Boko Haram. In Eritrea, many flee to escape military service which can last for decades and was compared in a UN report to slavery.

UN Working Group to study disappearance of migrants

Prensa Latina reports today that the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances has announced…

Daily World News Digest, 2 February 2017

Amnesty statement on human rights in Colombia

Amnesty International yesterday reiterated its support for the work of the Office in Colombia of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to improve respect for human rights, and welcomed the Colombian government’s decision to renew the Office’s mandate for a further three years. In light of the peace agreement signed between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 24 November, Amnesty said the Office’s role in human rights monitoring is now even more critical. All the parties to the conflict have been responsible for crimes including forced displacement, enforced disappearances, unlawful killings, torture, and crimes of sexual violence, it said, adding that very few of those suspected of having criminal responsibility for such crimes have been brought to justice.

Iraq: men fleeing Mosul held in secret

Human Rights Watch published an article today on the groups within…