Monthly Archives: May 2017

Daily World News Digest, 31 May 2017

Myanmar: UN to investigate human right abuses against Rohingya Muslims

Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday that the UN is sending a fact-finding team to investigate alleged human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Myanmar’s military has been accused of killing and raping Rohingya Muslims, a persecuted minority group, in a crackdown in Northern Rakhine state in western Myanmar last year. In February, a UN report accused Myanmar’s security forces of carrying out mass rapes and killings, possibility amounting to crimes against humanity. According to the UN’s statement, the team will also look into allegations of arbitrary detention, torture and inhuman treatment, enforced disappearances, forced displacement and unlawful destruction of property by security forces.

Amnesty International warns Nigeria to avoid repression of Biafra day protests

All Africa reported on Tuesday that Amnesty International have warned the Nigerian security forces to exercise restraint when policing demonstrations marking the 50th Anniversary of…

Daily World News Digest, 30 May 2017

Disappearance of four activists in Pakistan

DNA India reported on Monday that the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern over the enforced disappearance of four political activists in the southeastern Sindh province. HRCP is particularly concerned over political activists being picked up from different villages in a coordinated manner.

Mass grave of 150 human remains discovered in central Vietnam

A Vietnamese media outlet, VnExpress, reported on Monday that a mass grave containing 150 sets of human remains has been found in the central area of the country. A statement from the forensic biology testing center at the Ministry of Public Security’s Criminal Science Institute said the bone samples dated back more than 150 years. The remains probably belong to anti-French insurgents from the 19th century. Samples have been sent for DNA testing.

G7 summit offers little help to Italy on issue of migrants and refugees


Daily World News Digest, 29 May 2017

Missing children in Nigeria

The Nigerian Newspaper, Daily Trust, carried a story on Saturday about Nigeria’s many missing children. The article cites a figure of more than 40 children under the age of three who have gone missing recently. Parents of the missing have formed an informal association; they complain that the authorities have failed to address the situation. One of the major challenges is a lack of police data on cases of children going missing, the article says.

Yemen: Call for detainees to be released during Ramadan

ReliefWeb carried a story on Saturday on a Human Rights Watch statement calling on Yemen’s warring sides to meet their legal obligations and release those held arbitrarily, during the holy month of Ramadan. “Houthi-Saleh forces, Yemeni-government forces, and forces backed by the United Arab Emirates should free those arbitrarily held, ensure detainees have access to lawyers and family members, and reveal the…

Daily World News Digest, 26 May 2017

Libyan coastguard accused of firing on refugees

The Independent reported on Thursday that members of the EU-backed Libyan coastguard have allegedly opened fire while forcing refugees back to the war-torn country in the latest clash with international rescue ships. The incident occurred during the deadliest period recorded so far, as more than 30 migrants, including several toddlers and children, drowned in the Mediterranean. Tensions have been rising as the number of smugglers’ boats launched from Libya has risen to record levels with improving weather, seeing almost 60,000 people arrive in Italy so far this year and more than 1,500 killed attempting the world’s deadliest crossing.

Nepal: politicians and military resist war-crimes investigations

The Mail Online carried a Reuters story yesterday stating that political parties and security forces in Nepal that are accused of war crimes during the country’s decade-long civil war are hampering efforts to bring justice to tens of…

Daily World News Digest, 25 May 2017

“More than 100 cases of enforced disappearances in Egypt in 2017”

The Middle East Monitor on Wednesday carried a story on a report issued by a group called Stop Enforced Disappearance. The report says that 107 people were forcibly disappeared in Egypt in 2017. Of these, 99 people have been located while eight are still missing. According to the report, 45 people were held in custody, six were released, one was convicted in court, three were released without trial and four were acquitted. The fate of the remaining 40 people could not be definitively determined, but a majority are believed to be still in detention. Egypt’s Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar said in an earlier statement that “there is no enforced disappearance in Egypt.

Ezidi activist highlights continuing plight of captives

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Iraqi parliamentarian and Ezidi activist Vian Dakhil has urged other Ezidis to stand for…

Daily World News Digest, 24 May 2017

Malaysia: police investigate missing persons support group

The Sun, a news portal from Malaysia, reports today that police in Malaysia are investigating a group that alleged official involvement in several cases of missing activists. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the matter is being investigated under Section 504 (b) of the Penal Code, which deals with intentional insult to provoke a breach of the peace. The activist group, known as Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED), has claimed that cases of missing persons, including those of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, social activist Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Raymond Koh, were enforced disappearances.

UNHCR urges Libya to free asylum seekers and refugees from detention centers

Radio France Internationale reported on Tuesday that UNHCR has urged Libyan authorities to free all asylum seekers and refugees from detention centers, describing these centers as “inhumane”. In…

Daily World News Digest, 23 May 2017

Cholera takes hold in war-weary Yemen

The Gulf Times reported on Monday that a cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 315 and is suspected to have infected more than 29,300 since 27 April, according to the Ministry of Health. The country’s overcrowded prisons could be an ideal place for quick spread of the disease, the report says. Thousands of families have no contact with relatives detained in connection with the conflict and enforced disappearances and allegations of ill-treatment and deteriorating conditions further add to the plight of detainees and to families’ anxiety.

Gambia: How to deal with past injustice

On Monday, All Africa carried a story on transitional justice in Gambia. The government has indicated that it is looking into the truth and reconciliation mechanism, the report says, while steps are also being taken to put security officials from the previous regime on trial.

Human rights have greatly diminished…

Daily World News Digest, 22 May 2017

Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang still missing

BBC News carried a story today about Wang Quanzhang, a lawyer who was detained by the Chinese authorities in August 2015 as part of a nationwide operation in which more than 200 lawyers, legal assistants and human rights activists were brought in for questioning. Almost two years later, Mr Wang is the only lawyer from whom nothing has been heard at all. His wife, Li Wenzu, said he has no right to communicate with the outside world as he has been deprived of all rights. There have been allegations that some of the lawyers have been tortured during their detention.

Nepal: disappeared people registered as deceased

The Himalayan Times, carried a story on Saturday noting that family members of at least 150 disappeared persons have registered complaints with the Commission of Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP). However, a CIEDP spokesperson said a decision…

Daily World News Digest, 19 May 2017

HRW criticizes Sri Lanka counterterrorism but says it could prevent enforced disappearances

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on Thursday saying that Sri Lanka’s latest counterterrorism bill falls far short of the government’s pledges to the UN Human Rights Council to end abusive detention without charge. “Even though the bill improves upon the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA),” HRW says, “it would still permit many of the abuses occurring under current law such as that suspects may be detained without charge for 12 months. The HRW statement adds, however, that “several provisions under the proposed counterterrorism law are improvements, such as greater detainee access to counsel, entry of magistrates and Human Rights Commission officers to detention facilities, and reporting requirements that could help prevent enforced disappearances.”

Mexico: mothers and families of the missing demand the truth

On Thursday, the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) reported on…

Daily World News Digest, 18 May 2017

UN report: “Congolese military carried out extrajudicial killing of women and children”

On Wednesday, the Voice of America reported that the UN Joint Human Rights Office has concluded that the Congolese military and police carried out at least 185 extra-judicial executions during March and April, including 16 women and 53 children, in just three towns in Kasai-Central province. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says the crisis in the Kasai region has displaced more than 1.2 million people. In recent months UN investigators say they have also found mass graves, reportedly dug by Congolese soldiers after clashes.

UNICEF: Number of unaccompanied refugee children reaches ‘record high’

Today, Deutsche Welle reported that the number of refugee children traveling alone has increased fivefold since 2010, according to UNICEF. In 2015 and 2016, UNICEF said there were 300,000 unaccompanied and separated migrant children worldwide. The total number of unaccompanied children…