Monthly Archives: August 2017

Daily World News Digest, 22 August 2017

More cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan

The Express Tribune, from Pakistan, reported on Tuesday that around 160 people including political workers, activists and students, are missing in Sindh Province. It says 122 cases occurred in 2017 with 83 occurring in the month of August alone. The article quotes a human rights activist as saying that law enforcement agencies have been responsible for disappearances and that “no one involved in the enforced disappearances has ever been punished”.

Activist on behalf of the disappeared a victim of enforced disappearance

On Monday, Human Rights Watch published an article about activist Punhal Sario, who marched last month from Hyderabad to Karachi to demand the return of fellow activists who were victims of enforced disappearance. Sario himself is now feared missing. Witnesses say that the 58-year-old head of the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh was abducted from Hyderabad by security forces on…

Daily World News Digest, 21 August 2017

Cyprus: Excavations at two mass graves to start next month

Cyprus Mail Online reported on Saturday that digging for the remains of Greek Cypriot missing persons in two mass graves at Ornithi, an area just outside the Turkish-held village of Ashia, will commence by the end of next month according to the Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP). Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu said that there are no obstacles to digging in the area, where it is believed there is a mass grave of Greek Cypriots.

Nigeria recorded “more than 40 extrajudicial killings” in 2016

Vanguard Newspapers, from Nigeria, reported on Sunday that a human rights group, the Office of the Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has accused the police of being involved in the extra-judicial killing of more than 40 citizens last year.

DNA lab reduces testing for missing…

Daily World News Digest, 18 August 2017

Libya demands immediate release of abducted former Prime Minister

Middle East Monitor reported on Thursday that members of Libya’s House of Representatives have demanded the “immediate release of former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan without any restrictions or conditions”. The statement accused “an armed patrol” of taking Zeidan to an unknown location from a hotel in the capital Tripoli on Sunday.

Mass grave with over 600 human bone fragments found in Mexico near US border

The Panam Post reported on Thursday that a mass grave with 150 human bones has been unearthed in Mexico close to US border. The President of the United Association for Missing Persons in Baja California, said officials have been unable to establish how many bodies correspond to the discovered remains. According to the article, the makeshift grave was found thanks to information obtained from a person authorities arrested several months ago.

Thailand: Activists demand end…

Daily World News Digest, 17 August 2017

Iraq seeks international help to investigate Da’esh crimes

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Iraq has asked for international help to collect and preserve evidence of crimes perpetrated by Da’esh and said it is working with the United Kingdom to draft a UN Security Council resolution to establish the investigation. The Iraqi government said in a letter that it is important to bring Da’esh militants to justice in Iraqi courts. Da’esh’s self-proclaimed caliphate effectively collapsed last month, when US-backed Iraqi forces completed the recapture of Mosul, the militants’ capital in northern Iraq, after a nine-month campaign. Parts of Iraq and Syria remain under Da’esh control, especially along the border.

Mass grave in Sierra Leone following mudslide

The BBC reports today that nearly half of the 400 people known to have died in a mudslide and flooding on the outskirts of the Sierra Leone capital Freetown have already been buried while some…

Daily World News Digest, 16 August 2017

Philippine drug war sees “bloodiest night”

The BBC reports today that police in the Philippines police killed 32 people in drug raids on Tuesday in Bulacan province, which is thought to be the highest death toll in a single day in the country’s war on drugs. Police said that those killed were suspected drug offenders who were armed and resisted officers. The campaign, aimed at wiping out the drugs trade, has attracted intense international criticism over the number of deaths. Rights groups have accused Philippine police of planning extrajudicial killings and in some cases profiting from them.

Mass grave in northern Afghanistan uncovered

Xinhua news agency reports today that local Afghans and security forces discovered around 40 bodies in a mass grave in the northern Sari Pul province on Tuesday. Militants loyal to Dae’sh and the Taliban reportedly massacred more than 50 people, all civilians, including women and…

Daily World News Digest, 15 August 2017

Calls for the release of Chinese dissident Liu Xia

The Manila Times carries a story today noting that in the month since the death of Liu Xiaobo, China’s Nobel peace laureate, world attention has shifted to focus on the fate of his widow, Liu Xia, who had been kept under illegal house arrest ever since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2010 while serving an 11-year prison term for “inciting subversion of state power.” Liu Xia, a poet and artist, has not been seen in public since her husband died of liver cancer on 13 July. World leaders have called on China to allow his widow to go abroad. Jared Genser, founder of Freedom Now, an independent nongovernment organization that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide and Liu Xia’s pro bono lawyer in the United States, has filed a formal complaint to the Working Group…

Daily World News Digest, 14 August 2017

The rising death toll from Europe’s migration policy

The New York Post on Sunday published a story criticizing the current EU migration policy. In seven months this year, the article says, 2,408 people have died in the Mediterranean; 365 have died in North Africa; and 35 have died in Europe while many reports have smugglers holding people captive for months, selling people as slaves or forcing migrants to kill one another. The author argues that the present ad-hoc system fails to distinguish between war refugees and economic migrants and that Europe should conduct asylum interviews in existing refugee camps closer to war zones.

Thousands of Argentines march to demand answers on missing protester

On Friday, Reuters reported that thousands of people marched through Argentina’s capital to demand that a young protester who has been missing since security forces clashed with indigenous activists in Patagonia 10 days ago appear alive. Human…

Daily World News Digest, 11 August 2017

Spain could top Greece for 2017 migrant sea arrivals

The Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday that Spain could surpass Greece this year as a gateway for migrants entering Europe by sea. More than 8,000 people have turned to the so-called Western Mediterranean Route from Morocco into Spain this year, compared to 2,500 during the same period in 2016. Italy remains by far the biggest gateway, accounting for 85 percent of arrivals by sea since the start of 2017 with more than 96,400. But Spain is catching up with Greece, where 11,713 have landed.  Flavio Di Giacomo of the International Organization for Migration said migrants may be hearing about conditions in Libya and changing their plans accordingly. So far this year the Libyan coast guard has blocked around 12,000 migrants from leaving the coast towards Italy. They are doing so at the request of the EU. Tens of thousands of migrants in Libya are now being kept in…

Daily World News Digest, 10 August 2017

Refugees thrown into the sea near Yemen

The Independent on Thursday cited the International Organization for Migration as saying that up to 50 migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia were “deliberately drowned” when a smuggler forced them into the sea off Yemen’s coast.  IOM staff said they found the shallow graves of 29 of the migrants on a beach in Shabwa during a routine patrol. Medical staff said they provided urgent care for 27 surviving migrants who remained on the beach while other migrants had already left. The agency said 22 people are still unaccounted for.

Kurdish forces in Syria accused of arbitrary arrest, torture

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) carried a story on Wednesday stating that Kurdish Self-Management forces have been responsible for “numerous human rights violations” mainly targeted against activists, dissidents and political critics. There have been reports of 169 incidents of arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance and…

Daily World News Digest, 9 August 2017

Iraqi court hands down death sentences for Speicher massacre

The BBC reported on Tuesday that an Iraqi criminal court has sentenced 27 men to death for their participation in the Speicher massacre, which saw the abduction of approximately 1,700 Iraqi air force cadets from Camp Speicher. The cadets were then executed and buried in mass graves or thrown into a nearby river. Since the recapture of Tikrit from Da’esh in March 2015, hundreds of bodies have been exhumed from mass graves.

Human rights violations and enforced disappearances in Nepal

The Himalayan Times reported on Wednesday that since July 2017 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has received 58,052 complaints of human rights violations and the Commission of Enquiry on Enforced Disappeared Persons has received 2,874 complaints of enforced disappearances. The transitional justice mechanisms were set up two years ago to give the victims of the 1996-2006 conflict in Nepal…