Monthly Archives: September 2017

Daily World News Digest, 20 September 2017

People trafficking and the Rohingya crisis

The East-West Center has published an analysis of the Rohingya migration crisis, examining the position of the Myanmar authorities and governments in Southeast Asia, as well as the role of people traffickers. It focuses on the trial in Thailand in July this year, the largest human trafficking trial in the country’s history, which resulted in 62 convictions for crimes committed against migrant asylum seekers mostly from Myanmar. The trial took place following the May 2015 discovery of mass graves in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border. Human Rights Watch reports that at least 30 bodies were found and the victims — mostly migrants identified as ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh — lost their lives due to inadequate food and disease while traffickers were waiting to receive ransoms from the families before smuggling them into Malaysia.

Remains exhumed from mass grave in Bosnia…

Daily World News Digest, 19 September 2017

Sri Lanka decides not to debate bill on Enforced Disappearance

The Sri Lankan Government has decided not to debate the Enforced Disappearance Bill on 21 September. The Bill is designed to bring Sri Lankan legislation into line with the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, which Sri Lanka signed in 2015. Opposition Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said on Monday that if the Bill is passed, Sri Lanka “may have to hand over all soldiers including General (retired) Jagath Jayasuriya, former president and defence minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to other countries.” Another opposition leader said that an assurance given by the Prime Minister that the Bill would not have retrospective effect was not acceptable.

Transitional justice in Colombia

The plan for post-conflict justice in Colombia hinges on a new Special Jurisdiction for Peace, under which those who committed serious crimes during the conflict will…

Daily World News Digest, 18 September 2017

Rohingya Exodus: hundreds of children separated from parents

More than half of the Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar in the past three weeks are children, including hundreds who traveled without family members, putting them at particular risk in cramped, muddy camps in Bangladesh, aid workers say. The UN says up to 400,000 Rohingya have fled the state of Rakhine in western Myanmar since 25 August. As of Friday, Unicef had counted 1,267 children who had been separated from their families. Amid the disorder of the rapidly expanding settlements in Bangladesh, unaccompanied children are at particular risk of human trafficking, sexual abuse, child labor and child marriage, Unicef spokesperson Christopher Boulierac said.

Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons starts work

Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons (OMP), one of four key transitional justice mechanisms – the others being an office to handle reparations, a truth commission and a judicial…

Daily World News Digest, 15 September 2017

Egypt acknowledges detention of lawyer investigating abduction

The authorities in Egypt have acknowledged the detention of Ibrahim Metwally, a human rights lawyer who went missing on 11 September on his way to a UN conference on enforced disappearance. The Supreme State Security Prosecution on Wednesday acknowledged that Metwally had been detained, and ordered him held for 15 days in Cairo’s sprawling Tora Prison complex pending investigations. Metwally had provided legal aid to the family of Giulio Regeni, an Italian graduate student who was abducted and tortured to death in 2016 during a police crackdown in Cairo.

ICC Prosecutor issues statement on conclusion of visit to Colombia

In a statement issued at the conclusion of a three-day visit to Colombia, the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, expressed satisfaction with the support she has received from the Colombian Government and civil society. She said she was impressed “by the…

ICMP Helps Brazilian Authorities Identify Missing Persons

The Hague, 14 September 2017: ICMP is assisting the Brazilian authorities with the identification of victims of enforced disappearance from the 1964-85 military dictatorship. Under a contract signed earlier this month with the Special Commission on Political Deaths and Disappearances, which is part of the Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights, ICMP will help to identify the remains of persons who went missing as a result of the dictatorship’s security policies.

The first set of post-mortem samples and family members’ samples to be analyzed under the program, which is supported by the UN Development Program, were brought to ICMP today by Dr. Samuel Ferreira, the Scientific Coordinator of the Special Commission on Political Deaths and Disappearances and of the working group responsible for identifying bodies that were interred in a clandestine mass grave at the Dom Bosco Cemetery in Perus, Sao Paulo between 1971…

Daily World News Digest, 14 September 2017

Bosnia and Herzegovina: new mass grave found

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Missing Persons Institute (MPI) has announced that the remains of six people have been discovered in a mass grave near the eastern town of Vlasenica. An MPI spokesperson indicated that more bodies may be found. The remains of several people, believed to have been victims of a 1992 massacre, were discovered last month in a mass grave in Central Bosnia.

Canada’s inquiry into missing Indigenous women stalls

Maclean’s Magazine has published an in-depth investigation into the apparent crisis in Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which was launched on 1 September 2016. The Inquiry is seeking to address a situation in which Aboriginal women in Canada report rates of violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault, 3.5 times higher than non-Aboriginal women, while young Aboriginal women are five times more likely than other Canadian women…

Daily World News Digest, 13 September 2017

Egypt: lawyer investigating abduction disappears

Ibrahim Metwaly, a lawyer who was investigating the abduction and murder of Giulio Regeni, 28, who was carrying out research on Egypt’s trade unions when he disappeared on 25 January 2016, has himself disappeared – while en route to a conference to discuss state-sanctioned disappearances. Metwaly is the founder of a group called Stop Enforced Disappearances, which aims to determine the fate of Egyptians who have been disappeared by the security forces. His disappeared four years ago and has not been heard from since.

Rights group warns of collapse of judiciary in Venezuela

The collapse of the judiciary in Venezuela has left victims of torture, killings and disappearances and their families without recourse to justice after months of violent street protests, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) says in a new report. The ICJ has called on the UN Human Rights Council to…

Daily World News Digest, 12 September 2017

UN: migrants facing high risk of enforced disappearance

There is a direct link between enforced disappearance and migration, but governments and the international community are not paying attention, a UN expert group warned today in a report to the UN Human Rights Council. “The enforced disappearance of migrants is a serious issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed globally,” the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said. “States and the international community as a whole are not devoting the necessary attention to this issue and – owing to both its nature and its transnational character – they are turning a blind eye, preferring to transfer the blame elsewhere, be it to another State or to a criminal group.”

Spanish court drops complaint against Syrian security forces

A Spanish court has dropped a criminal complaint brought against members of the Syrian security and intelligence forces by a woman seeking…

Daily World News Digest, 11 September 2017

Reports of more child victims of Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines

Recent reports show that the death toll from the Philippines war on drugs has surpassed 10,000, including child victims. Human Rights Watch has renewed its call for a UN investigation into the murder of minors. “The apparent willingness of Philippine police to deliberately target children for execution marks an appalling new level of depravity in this so-called drug war,” HRW Asia Director Phelim Kine is quoted as saying.

UN to review 350 cases of enforced disappearances from 43 countries

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) will meet between 11 and 15 September to examine 350 cases from 43 countries. WGEID representatives will also meet relatives of those who have disappeared, civil society representatives and state authorities from different countries, and will examine obstacles to the implementation of the UN Declaration on…

Daily World News Digest, 8 September 2017

Egypt blocks Human Rights Watch website

Egypt has blocked the website of Human Rights Watch just one day after the organization released a report on systematic torture in the country’s jails. The report titled “We Do Unreasonable Things Here”, states that Egyptian authorities use arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and torture. Egypt’s foreign ministry lambasted the report in a statement on Wednesday, saying it defamed the country and ignored progress made on human rights in recent years.

Mali: “unchecked abuses” in military operations

Military operations to counter the growing presence of Islamist armed groups in central Mali have resulted in serious human rights violations, according to Human Rights Watch. Since late 2016, Malian forces have committed extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and arbitrary arrests against men accused of supporting Islamist armed groups, HRW says. It has documented three mass graves believed to contain the remains of at least 14 men executed…