Monthly Archives: June 2017

Daily World News Digest, 21 June 2017

”More than 3,000” killed in violence in central Congo

NPR reported on Tuesday that more than 3,000 people have been killed in a remote region in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Congo’s Catholic Church. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said 42 mass grave sites have been found in the region, and there may be more. Hussein is calling for an independent international investigation as the situation in Kasai region has grown “much more complex and more deadly”.

Rohingya seek new escape routes from Bangladesh, a German website that seeks to promote dialogue with the Islamic world, reports today that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have fled violence and persecution in neighboring Myanmar are turning to complex smuggling operations to escape Bangladesh as Dhaka denies new arrivals refugee status. For years the main mode of escape for refugees who would pay hefty…

Daily World News Digest, 20 June 2017

Canada: Police fail Indigenous women in Saskatchewan

In a submission to the Government of Canada, Human Rights Watch on Monday expressed serious concern over police abuse of indigenous women in Saskatchewan. The submission is based on research, including interviews with 64 indigenous women, in Saskatchewan between January and July 2016. HRW warns that lack of accountability for policing abuses against indigenous women exacerbates long-standing tensions between police and Indigenous communities in Canada. “The crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada means that police services across the country should be acutely aware of and sensitive to the well-being, vulnerability, and needs of Indigenous women,” said Farida Deif, Canada director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, in some cases, it is the police themselves who are making Indigenous women feel unsafe.”

Human rights violations in northern Myanmar

Newsweek carried an opinion piece on 19 June discussing the fighting that has…

Daily World News Digest, 19 June 2017

Mexico: human rights lawyers and activist target of government’s spyware

The New York Times reports today that Mexico’s most prominent human rights lawyers, journalists and anti-corruption activists have been targeted by advanced spyware used by the Mexican government. The targets include lawyers looking into the mass disappearance of 43 students, a highly respected academic who helped write anti-corruption legislation, two of Mexico’s most influential journalists and an American representing victims of sexual abuse by the police. Since 2011, at least three Mexican federal agencies have purchased about $80 million worth of spyware created by an Israeli cyberarms manufacturer on the condition that it be used only to investigate criminals and terrorists.

Mediterranean: HRW warns EU that shifting rescue to Libya risks lives

Human Rights Watch reported today that Libyan forces have engaged in reckless conduct during recent rescue operations that endangered people being rescued in international waters in the Mediterranean….

Daily World News Digest, 16 June 2017

London fire: Tower victims “may never be identified”

The BBC reports today that police have warned they may never be able to identify all of the people who died in the fire that engulfed a west London block of flats. Emergency services were to spend a third day searching for bodies in the burnt-out Grenfell Tower in North Kensington. Seventeen people are known to have died but that figure is set to rise, with fears the death toll could exceed 60. Fire chiefs say they do not expect to find more survivors, while PM Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry. Six victims of the blaze have been provisionally identified. However, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said there was “a risk that sadly we may not be able to identify everybody”.

IOM’s new report on the human trafficking and other exploitative practices in the Mediterranean

On Thursday, Relief…

Daily World News Digest, 15 June 2017

Conflict, displacement, and abuse in northern Myanmar

ReliefWeb on Wednesday carried a report by Amnesty International about Myanmar. The report says civilians from minority ethnic groups suffer violations and abuses, including war crimes, at the hands of military and ethnic armed groups in the country’s Kachin and northern Shan States. More than 98,000 civilians are currently displaced in northern Myanmar amid fierce fighting between the Myanmar Armed Forces and various ethnic armed groups in the area. The report documents nine incidents in northern Shan state where Myanmar Army troops arbitrarily detained and tortured civilians from ethnic minorities, and two cases of enforced disappearance of ethnic minority civilians and four incidents of extrajudicial executions by the Myanmar Army since mid-2016, involving at least 25 victims.

Facebook video shows Somali and Ethiopian migrants and refugees abused in Libya

The International Organization for Migration on Wednesday expressed concern over the situation of approximately…

Daily World News Digest, 14 June 2017

Searching for the missing in Argentina

The BBC publishes an interview today, as part of its “Witness” series, with Mirta Baravalle, one of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. Mirta’s daughter, Ana Maria Baravalle, was 28 years old and five months pregnant when she was abducted by the Argentine military in 1976. Ana Maria’s husband, Julio, was also abducted. Mirta Baravalle has been searching for Ana Maria, Julio and their daughter, who was born behind bars, ever since. In the “Witness” feature, the 92-year-old grandmother explains how the mothers of the disappeared were able to account for many of the missing when they banded together to confront the authorities.

UN reports enforced disappearances in Ukraine

On Tuesday, the UN issued the report of a human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine covering three months till 15 May 2017. The mission recorded 36 conflict-related civilian deaths and 157…

Daily World News Digest, 13June 2017

UN report details kidnappings and executions in Libya

On Monday, the Libya Herald carried a story on the UN Libyan Experts Panel final report presented to the Security Council released last week, which cites numerous cases of kidnappings, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual assault, mass killings and summary executions in all areas of Libya, by groups with and without ‘‘official mandates’’.

Will a pioneering case in Spain bring justice for Syrian victims?

The website,, carried a story on 12 June on the case being brought in Spain against officials of the Assad regime in Syria over the disappearance of a Syrian truck driver whose sister is a Spanish citizen.  Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, a London-based group of human rights lawyers, is accusing nine Syrian officials of state terrorism against the late brother of Amal Hag Hamdo Anfalis. Her brother, Abdulmuemen Alhaj Hamdo, a Syrian truck driver, was allegedly forcedly…

Daily World News Digest, 12 June 2017

UN official says Australia responsible for “inhuman treatment” of asylum seekers

The Guardian carries comments today by the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, saying that Australia has “clear and undeniable” responsibility for the physical and psychological damage its illegal offshore detention regime has caused to asylum seekers and refugees. Crépeau said the regime of offshore detention – on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and the Pacific state of Nauru – was unjustifiably punitive and unlawful, cruel, inhuman and degrading.

Juncker supports legal action against member states that do not accept asylum-seekers

Luxemburger Wort reported on Saturday that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has threatened to launch treaty violation proceedings against EU members that refuse to accept their quota of refugees. Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, among others, have opposed an EU plan adopted in 2015 to redistribute 160,000 Syrian, Eritrean and Iraq asylum-seekers from…

Daily World News Digest, 8 June 2017

Rights-Based Strategies to Account for the Missing

On Tuesday, Relief Web reported on the “Profiles of the Missing” seminar organized in Stockholm last week by ICMP and hosted by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Speakers from around the world shared their personal experiences, and explained the rights-based, rule-of-law approach that families of the missing have developed in order to ensure that authorities take all necessary steps to locate and identify their loved ones. Participants also examined emotional, social and political aspects of seeking truth, justice and reparation.

ICMP commemorates victims of Asian Tsunami

Pan European Network reported on Tuesday on a visit by the ICMP Commissioners to the site in Stockholm where a memorial to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is being built. In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, ICMP tested more than 1,200 bone samples and issued DNA identification reports for more than 900…