Monthly Archives: April 2017

Daily World News Digest, 13 April 2017

Serbia unable to address migration issues

Blic carries comments today by the Director of the Asylum Protection Centre in Belgrade, Rados Djurovic, who says that migrants and refugees from the Middle East are staying longer in Serbia, while their countries of origin refuse to accept them back. ”It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said. “There is poor cooperation with Macedonia and difficult cooperation with Bulgaria. They refuse to take the people back. We cannot take them back to the countries they come from because Serbia does not have diplomatic missions there. In Afghanistan, we do not have a representative office, nor in Somalia.”

Egypt urged to confirm detention of missing Palestinians

Human Rights Watch today urged the Egyptian authorities to state immediately if they are or if they were holding four Palestinian men from Gaza affiliated with Hamas whose whereabouts are unknown. The Palestinians were taken away by armed men after crossing from…

Daily World News Digest, 12 April 2017

50 cases of political killings brought to UN rights body

Inquirer, a news agency from the Philippines, reports today that a rights advocacy group has presented the UN Special Rapporteur with nearly 50 documented cases of political killings under the Duterte administration that took place despite the government’s peace negotiations with communist rebels. The killings took place from 1 July 2016 when President Duterte assumed office to the end of March. The victims were peasants, indigenous peoples and workers who were killed by military or military agents for defending people’s rights, the report says.

Hundreds of asylum seekers missing after fire engulfs refugee camp in France

ABC News reported yesterday that about 600 people are missing after a fire led to the evacuation of a refugee camp in northern France, medical aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says. The fire destroyed large parts of the Grande-Synthe camp near Dunkirk on…

Daily World News Digest, 11 April 2017

Yezidi mass graves discovered so far contain 1,646 people, official

Rudaw reported yesterday that teams that search for mass graves of Yezidi victims of Da’esh have so far found 31 mass graves, containing 1,646 people, including women and children. The announcement came as Kurdish authorities stated that a new mass grave has been found in the Hardan area of Shingal. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is assisting the search operation I   n coordination with the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities. ICMP says it will preserve evidence in line with international standards that can later be used in court proceedings against perpetrators.

Migrants from west Africa being “sold in Libyan slave markets”

The Guardian reported yesterday that West African migrant survivors have told the International Organization for Migration (IOM)that migrants are being bought and sold openly in slave markets in Libya. Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labour….

Daily World News Digest, 10 April 2017

Remains of 1,646 victims exhumed in Sinjar

Al Jazeera reports today that 31 mass graves have been discovered in the Iraqi town of Sinjar with the remains of 1,646 Yezidi victims of Da’esh.  Sinjar District Governor Mehma Halil confirmed that the remains have been exhumed and exhumations at several locations are still in progress. ‘’We’re still looking for at least 20 mass graves, for which we have some knowledge, but not the precise location” Halil concluded.

Kurdish officials report executions near Mosul

The Rudaw news agency from Kurdistan in Iraq reported on 7 April that the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) announced on Friday that 140 civilians trying to flee Mosul were killed by Da’esh, with some of their bodies being hanged from electricity poles across the city.

German courts and Syrian war crimes prosecutions

The BBC carried a story yesterday noting that the international criminal justice system has failed to…

ICMP Welcomes the Establishment of the Search Unit for Missing Persons in Colombia

The Hague, 7 April 2017: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) welcomes the decree establishing the Search Unit for Missing Persons in Colombia which was signed by President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota on Thursday. The Search Unit will be in charge of addressing the issue of missing persons from the 50 year armed conflict. The signing ceremony took place at the Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación in Bogota.

“The decision to establish the Search Unit as part of the peace process underscores the recognition of the importance of resolving the issue of missing persons as an opportunity to advance peace and reinstate the rule-of-law, and thus to enhance confidence in public institutions on a highly emblematic issue,” said Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of ICMP. “The ICMP looks forward to working with the Government of Colombia in enhancing its institutional and legislative capacity…

Daily World News Digest, 7 April 2017

Number of missing people in Mexico rises to 30,000 by end of 2016

 AOL reported yesterday that the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico said the number of people in Mexico disappearing under suspicious circumstances, often related to drug violence, had risen to 30,000 by the end of 2016. The drug-ridden northern state of Tamaulipas registering 5,563 missing, the highest state total. The Commission also said it had accounted for 855 mass graves across Mexico over the last decade, finding 1,548 corpses, the large majority of which were male. Just over half of those bodies have been identified.

Kenya: Right Groups Seek President’s Intervention Over Extrajudicial Killings

All Africa reported yesterday that in Kenya, human rights organizations under the banner of the Police Reforms Working Group want President Uhuru Kenyatta to establish an independent judicial commission of inquiry to conduct a probe into claims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances…

Daily World News Digest, 6 April 2017

Gambia: military accused of human rights abuses now in detention

Jollof Media Network, a news agency from Senegal and Gambia, reported yesterday that at least ten soldier of Gambia’s State Guard Division have been arrested and detained in connection with the disappearance of detainees during the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh, who ruled Gambia for 22 years, is accused of multiple human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances. Police are investigating 30 cases of suspected extra-judicial killings by security officers and have discovered seven secret graves of people who died in state custody. The arrested soldiers are being detained at an undisclosed security installation under the Armed Forces Act.

Enforced disappearances in Yemen

Arab News reports today that the Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations states in its Annual Report that that Houthi and Saleh militias perpetrated more than 200 enforced disappearances during 2016. The report includes…

Daily World News Digest, 5 April 2017

Malaysia urged to investigate deaths at immigration detention centers

The Asian Correspondent reported yesterday that an international human rights watchdog has called on the Malaysian government to investigate the “completely inexcusable” deaths of over 100 detainees in recent years, including Bangladeshi migrants and members of the Burmese Rohingya community held in its immigration centers. The group, Fortify Rights, noted that 118 foreigners died in Malaysia’s immigration detention centers in 2015 and 2016.

UN finds 13 more mass graves in DR Congo’s Kasai region

The BBC carried a story yesterday noting that the UN has found 13 mass graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s central Kasai province since the beginning of March. This brings the number of mass graves discovered since last August to 23. The UN estimates that over 400 people, including women and children, have been killed in clashes between the army and the Kamwina Nsapu rebel…

Daily World News Digest, 4 April 2017

Colombia declares emergency as first Mocoa landslide victims buried

The BBC reports today on the Colombian government’s response to Saturday’s mudslides in the south of the country that left hundreds dead and missing in the town of Mocoa. President Juan Manuel Santos has declared an “economic, social and ecological emergency” and committed $13.9 million towards “addressing humanitarian priorities”. Ercy Lopez, 39, who survived by hanging on to a tree, said people were still searching for her daughter Diana Vanesa, 22, but told AFP: “The hopes of finding her alive are slim now.” On Sunday, Colombia’s Farc rebel group offered to help rebuild the town, but their involvement has yet to be approved by the government. “Assistance hasn’t yet arrived, it’s just beginning to now,” a local priest told Colombian television. “We understand that neither the regional nor the municipal authorities were prepared for this catastrophe so we’re doing what we…

Daily World News Digest, 3 April 2017

Aid groups cut death toll from migrant shipwreck off Libya

On 31 March, Reuters reported that five migrants were believed to have died when a rubber boat sank off the coast of Libya last week, and not hundreds as originally feared. Probably still in shock after he was taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa, a 16-year-old Gambian boy told humanitarian workers on Wednesday he was the only survivor of the wreck, but when 140 others disembarked at a different port on Thursday, several identified the boy as having been on the same boat. Some 650 migrants are estimated to have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean so far this year, and arrivals in Italy are up about 30 percent from the same period last year.

Search for missing in Colombia after mudslides

CNN reports today on rescue efforts following Saturday’s devastating mudslides in southern Colombia. Hundreds…