Monthly Archives: July 2017

Daily World News Digest, 17 July 2017

Ukrainian journalist held by militants on espionage charges

The Kyiv Post reported on Sunday that separatist forces in Donetsk have confirmed they are holding Stanislav Aseev, a freelance journalist who has been missing in eastern Ukraine since 2 June. Aseev’s mother has been told that her son is being charged with espionage. Aseev has published under a pseudonym in Ukrainian and foreign media.

German President: Closing migration routes does not solve refugee crisis

Middle East Monitor reported on Saturday that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned that closing busy migration routes across the Mediterranean will not solve the refugee crisis. Referring to European policies on the crisis he said “Those who ignore Europe in search for adequate answers are being too simplistic”.

Enforced disappearances in Pakistan

Pressenza, an international news collective, carried a story on 16 June about disappearances in Pakistan, which, it said, have targeted nationalist activists and political…

Daily World News Digest, 14 July 2017

Bangladesh’s disappeared

The Guardian reported on Wednesday on a Bangladesh government critic who alleges he was the latest in a series of activists and opposition figures to be abducted. Farhad Mazhar, a poet and social activist, claims he was forced into a minibus by three men while walking near his home in Dhaka last week. He was found about 16 hours later in a town more than 200km from the Bangladesh capital. Odhikar, a Dhaka-based human rights group, estimates about 223 people have been forcibly disappeared in Bangladesh in the past three years.

Iraq government to investigate video of killing of alleged Da’esh fighter

The BBC reported on Thursday that the Iraqi government has said it is investigating a video seemingly showing troops killing suspected Da’esh militants detained in the Mosul area. Human rights groups say they have received numerous witness reports of torture and executions in Mosul. Belkis Wille,…

Daily World News Digest, 13 July 2017

Navy Officer arrested in Sri Lanka for disappearance of youths

The New Indian Express reported on Wednesday that a senior navy official and five others have been arrested in Colombo in connection with the disappearance of 11 youths between 2008 and 2009. The paper noted that the arrest comes as the government is due to introduce the “Disappearances Bill”, which is designed to bring Sri Lankan legislation into line with international norms on missing and disappeared persons.

More mass graves found in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Aljazeera reported on Thursday that the United Nations announced on Wednesday the likelihood of another 38 mass graves in the Diboko and Sumbula areas in western Democratic Republic of Congo. This adds up to at least 80 mass graves being found so far. The UN reports that more than 3,000 people have been killed in the area, 1.3 million displaced and…

Daily World News Digest, 12 July 2017

Srebrenica: 22nd anniversary of Europe’s worst atrocity since WWII

Business Insider published a Reuters story yesterday on the anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide. It notes that @even 22 years later workers are still sifting through remains and trying to identify bodies, an attempt to restore some humanity to the more than 8,000 people killed at Srebrenica” and quotes ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, who pointed out that accounting for the missing is a central element in the pursuit of justice. “Those who killed in Srebrenica in July 1995 believed they could get away with murder. They thought they could erase the identity of their victims permanently. They were wrong.”

Continuing search for the missing from Srebrenica

The Daily Sabah carried a story about a Srebrenica survivor who is still searching for the remains of his father and brother. Since returning to his village of Kamenice in 1999, Ramiz Nukic has…

Srebrenica: Truth and Justice Are Tools to Tackle Genocide

The Hague, 11 July 2017:  Twenty-two years after the Srebrenica Genocide, it is essential to uphold a transparent and truthful narrative of what happened, and to continue efforts – regardless of the time that has passed – to bring those who were responsible to justice, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

Ms Bomberger said ICMP’s role in helping Bosnia and Herzegovina to account for the estimated 30,000 persons missing from the conflict of the 1990s, including the estimated 8,000 missing from the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, has helped establish a factual account of atrocities that were committed. Today, more than 70 percent of the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been accounted for, and almost 90 percent of the victims of Srebrenica have been identified through ICMP’s pioneering use of DNA.

ICMP’s decision to use DNA-based methods of identification was prompted by the extreme lengths…

Daily World News Digest, 11 July 2017

Srebrenica: 71 victims to be buried today on 22nd anniversary of Genocide

Worldbulletin, a news portal from Turkey, reported on Monday on the burial of 71 Srebrenica victims at the Potocari memorial cemetery today, the 22nd anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The youngest victim to be buried was only 15 years old when he was killed, while the oldest was 72. The bodies of more than a thousand victims have not yet been found.

Srebrenica: The massacres that went unpunished

BalkanInsight reports today that 22 years after the Srebrenica massacres, direct perpetrators of mass killings at several lesser-known execution sites have still not been charged or put on trial. The article examines the experience of Mevludin Oric, who survived when around 1,000 men and boys from Srebrenica were shot dead by Bosnian Serb forces in a field near the village of Orahovac in the Zvornik area. The article notes that…

Daily World News Digest, 10 July 2017

Sri Lanka: Debate on Prevention of Enforced Disappearances postponed

The ColomboPage news portal from Sri Lanka carried comments on 9 July by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who said “political ghosts with double-standards” are opposing steps to prevent enforced disappearances. Mr Samaraweera, who was Foreign Minister until May this year, was speaking about opposition to the Bill on Prevention of Disappearances. Sri Lanka signed the International Covenant on Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance on December 10, 2015, and the government ratified the Convention on 25 May 2016. In order to give legal validity to this, the relevant draft bill was gazetted on 9 May 2017 and submitted to parliament for approval. It was due to be debated on 5 July but the debate was postponed for procedural reasons. The Foreign Minister said opposition to the bill came from “political ghosts who introduced the white van culture”….

Daily World News Digest, 7 July 2017

Human Rights Watch demands “no special treatment” for Alberto Fujimori

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged that Peru’s government should not pardon former President Alberto Fujimori or grant him early release from prison. Fujimori was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 25 years in prison after being tried for extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and abductions. HRW argued that domestic law does not advocate amnesty or early release.

Trump-Putin talks “a matter of life and death” for Syrians

Amnesty International issued a statement on Thursday noting that US-Russia talks on counter-terrorism and resolving the war are crucial to the lives of millions of Syrian civilians. “A continuation of present policies would have disastrous consequences,” Amnesty says, adding that it has documented violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, including the enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and detention of tens of thousands of people in Syria since the…

Daily World News Digest, 6 July 2017

Sri Lankan government delays parliamentary debate on enforced disappearance bill

The Times Online, from Sri Lanka, reported on Wednesday that the Sri Lankan government has decided not to bring the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Bill forward for parliamentary debate. The Leader of the House did not give a reason for postponing discussion of the bill. This occurred as some Buddhist clergy voiced concern over the bill.

“At least 90 victims of enforced disappearance” in Bangladesh this year

Aljazeera reported on Thursday that Human Rights Watch has accused Bangladeshi security forces of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and secret detentions. An 82-page report released by Human Rights Watch states that at least 90 people were victims of enforced disappearance in 2016 of whom 21 were reportedly killed. In the first half of this year, 48 people have been reported missing. The government has denied…

Daily World News Digest, 5 July 2017

Families of Syria’s disappeared demand to know their fate

The Guardian ran a story on Tuesday on relatives of the missing in Syria who are demanding to know the fate of their family members. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, more than 65,000 people have been missing since 2011 and over 200,000 are being detained. In May of this year, women from families of the missing staged a sit-in at peace talks in Geneva, holding candles and framed photographs of their missing family member.

UN Syria war crimes investigation to be led by former French judge

Aljazeera reported on Tuesday that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed the French legal expert and former judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel to head the UN investigative body tasked with documenting and prosecuting violations of international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. The UN general…