Monthly Archives: April 2017

Families seek Belgrade-Pristina cooperation

Pristina, 28 April 2017: ICMP presented its third Kosovo Stocktaking Report this morning at a press conference in Pristina. The previous Stocktaking Reports were published in 2005 and 2010. The report provides a detailed account of progress in accounting for those who went missing during the conflict, together with recommendations on how more progress can be made.

In the 17 years since the end of the conflict, more than 6,000 cases of human remains have been recovered on the territory of Kosovo, and almost 900 on the territory of Serbia. Since 2002, more than 2,500 missing persons cases have been resolved through the use of effective forensic work, including DNA testing. Approximately 2,000 cases were identified by traditional methods, including visual identifications prior to 2002. Today, the number of missing persons is estimated to be over 1,600 persons.

Survivors and families of the missing…

Daily World News Digest, 28 April 2017

Chile: 16 Military Officers from Pinochet’s “Caravan of Death”

Telesur reported on Thursday that a Chilean court has found a retired army general and 15 other former military officers guilty of murdering opponents of the Pinochet dictatorship in the 1970s. The officers were charged with 15 murders in 1973 through the Caravan of Death, a covert military unit. According to researchers at Diego Portales University, nearly 40,000 were tortured during the dictatorship and more than 3,000 were disappeared or killed.

EU skeptical over Libyan plan to stop migrant flow

Deutsche Welle reported on Thursday that EU officials are skeptical that Libya has a workable plan to prevent migrants departing from its coast for Europe. Tripoli has asked the EU to provide new equipment and boats for its coastguard. DW cites a confidential assessment prepared for EU defense ministers, who met for a second day on Thursday in Malta on…

Daily World News Digest, 27 April 2017

Cameroon criticized over journalist’s conviction

Amnesty International issued a statement today describing the conviction and sentencing of a journalist by a military court in Cameroon to 10 years in prison as “a travesty of justice”. Ahmed Abba, a journalist for Radio France Internationale’s Hausa service was sentenced following his conviction on 20 April on charges of “non-denunciation of terrorism” and “laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts”. He was also fined 84,000 Euros. Since 2014 the Cameroonian authorities have arrested more than 1,000 people for allegedly supporting Boko Haram. Many have been held incommunicado and tortured in illegal detention facilities run by the military and or the secret services, Amnesty said.

Botswana accused of ill-treating refugees

Mmegionline, a news portal from Botswana, reported on Wednesday that the country has been criticized for “flagrantly violating its international obligations toward refugees”. Morgan Moseki, an attorney who has recently represented scores of rejected…

Daily World News Digest, 26 April 2017

Rohingya Exodus feature story

On Tuesday Reuters carried a story on the crisis in Rakhine state in northwest Myanmar. In November, Myanmar’s army swept through Rohingya villages in the state. Hundreds of Rohingya were killed and some 75,000 fled to Bangladesh. The article features the story of Rahim, a Rohingya schoolteacher now in Bangladesh.  The attack on Rahim’s village, Dar Gyi Zar, on 12-13 November, claimed dozens of lives, according to Rohingya elders. The killings marked the start of a two-week military onslaught on about 10 Rohingya villages, a Reuters reconstruction of events has found. A UN report from February said the likely death toll was in the hundreds. At least 1,500 homes were destroyed, Human Rights Watch satellite imagery shows.

Video appears to show murder of two UN experts in DR Congo

The Guardian reported on Monday on a video that appears to show the murder of two UN…

Daily World News Digest, 25 April 2017

Mexico: draft law proposes 90-year sentences for crime of forced disappearance

Telesur carried a story on Sunday about a new bill to tackle enforced disappearances in Mexico. If the bill is enacted, perpetrators could be given a prison sentence of up to 90 years for the crime of enforced disappearance. The first draft of the bill was drawn up a year and a half ago, and lawmakers and social organizations have pressured authorities to accelerate the proposal and work on tackling impunity. The importance of the debate looms large after a new report recently found that at least 30,000 people have gone missing in Mexico in the past nine years.

Mexico’s Veracruz in focus after the discovery of secret mass graves

TRT World carried a story on Sunday about the increased attention on the Mexican eastern state of Veracruz after the discovery of secret mass graves. The bodies of more…

Daily World News Digest, 24 April 2017

Mediterranean: NGOs helping migrants accused of “colluding” with smugglers

The Independent reported on Sunday that UNHCR has recorded at least 1,073 people dead or missing on the treacherous passage between Libya and Italy since the beginning of the year – a figure that was not reached until the end of May last year. Smugglers are pushing more and more boats into the Mediterranean as the weather improves and amid rumors of a crackdown by the Libyan coastguard, which is being bolstered by Italian funding and equipment. The unprecedented crisis has sparked intervention by several non-governmental organizations that have launched their own rescue ships equipped with medical staff and supplies to boost efforts by the EU’s Operation Sophia. Initially welcomed by European authorities, their growing role in the Mediterranean has been met with increasing suspicion from right-wing politicians and groups now accusing them of “colluding” with smugglers.

Mexico: clandestine graves…

Daily World News Digest, 21 April 2017

HRW calls for accountability over disappearances in Gambia

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today calling on Gambia’s government to prosecute those responsible for grave crimes committed during the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh. “Fair trials are crucial for victims and their families and for building respect for the rule of law in the country,” HRW said. In a 6 March letter to Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou, HRW encouraged the new government of President Adama Barrow to develop a strategy detailing how it intends to hold to account those implicated in arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances during Jammeh’s rule.

“Unprecedented” exploitation of child refugees

On Wednesday, Telesur carried a story about child refugees in Greece being sexually exploited on an unprecedented scale as they desperately seek to reach northern Europe, citing a report by Harvard University.  “This report documents a shocking and pervasive aspect of…

Daily World News Digest, 20 April 2017

More victims as Europe debates response to migration crisis

Vice News carried a story yesterday related to 9,000 migrants saved in the Mediterranean Sea over a period of just three days last weekend. Data from the International Organization for Migration shows that more than 32,000 people have attempted to cross into Europe this year — and 650 have died or gone missing. NGOs running an increasing number of rescue missions argue that Europe should do more to help save people from drowning. Others argue that rescue operations provide a “pull” factor for migrants: some have accused charities of acting as a “taxi service” for smugglers.

EU issues new guidelines on protecting migrant and refugee children

On Tuesday, the Electronic Immigration Network reported that the European Commission (EC) has issued new guidelines on protecting migrant and refugee children. EC Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: ‘’the number of children arriving in the EU…

Daily World News Digest, 19 April 2017

Extralegal killings and torture in Nigeria

The Nigerian Voice reported yesterday on extralegal killings and torture in Nigeria during the last 5 years. It says that Boko Haram militants “have killed and maimed over 30,000 innocent Nigerians, and they are not the only actor.” It adds that “all these killings by non-state actors have happened without any suspected mass murderer being brought to justice.”

Detentions in Biafra carried a story yesterday saying that the organization, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has condemned what it describes as “incessant harassment, arrest and illegal detention” of its members, some of whom have been held incommunicado.  The IPOB called on the Nigerian Government and security agencies either to release those arrested, on bail, or charge them in court without further delay. The statement added that, “the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on 6 February 2017 declared IPOB a legal organization but…

Daily World News Digest, 18 April 2017

Vietnam: mass grave from the 1968 found

Viet Nam News reported on Friday that a mass grave containing remains of some 150 Vietnamese casualties from the 1968 Tet offensive was discovered on Thursday in the southern province of Đồng Nai. The grave was identified following directions from two US veterans who originally witnessed the burial of the bodies.

Migrants rescued in the Mediterranean

CNN carried a report yesterday on a “record-breaking” weekend of maritime rescues between Italy and Libya. On Sunday evening, the Italian Coast Guard estimated the number of those rescued since Friday was approaching 7,000, though this number will certainly grow as a stream of rubber dinghies and rickety wooden fishing vessels were still being spotted off the coast of Libya. The European Union’s border control agency Frontex and NGOs have traded criticisms regarding a lack of assistance for migrant vessels in difficulties.

Myanmar to close refugee…