Monthly Archives: November 2017

Justice and Rights for the Families of the Missing from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kada Hotic from Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia, and Smilja Mitrovic from Bijeljina in the northeastern part of the country lost family members in the 1992-95 conflict. Their circumstances were different but for more than two decades, they have been engaged in the same struggle – to find out the fate of their loved ones and to secure justice for survivors.

Kada Hotic lost fifty members of her extended family in the Srebrenica Genocide, including her husband, her son, her two brothers and her brother-in-law.

Kada is the Vice President of the Mothers of Srebrenica Association. Dynamic and forthright, she says she became involved in the association as a way of coping with grief. “I’m working to ensure that what happened is not forgotten, and helping others too. While I have life, I will do everything in…

Daily World News Digest, 17 November 2017

More suspected mass graves discovered in Indonesia

The 1965 Murder Victims Research Foundation, an organization representing victims of the mass killings of 1965-66 in Indonesia, says it has located 16 suspected mass graves in central Java that may contain the remains of up to 5,000 victims. Over several months in 1965-66, at least 500,000 people – possibly as many as one million – were killed in anti-communist violence. In May 2016, the Indonesian government announced that it would form a team to investigate a list of 122 alleged mass grave sites from this period compiled by victims’ advocacy groups; so far it has failed to do so.

Iraq police report discovery of new mass grave

Iraqi police say they have found a grave containing the remains of some 20 bodies in the town of Shirqat in north central Iraq, which was recently a Da’esh stronghold. The remains were found by…

Daily World News Digest, 16 November 2017

Slavery in Libya

Each year, tens of thousands of refugees pour across Libya’s borders fleeing conflict or poverty. A recent clampdown by the Libyan coastguard has caused fewer boats to attempt the voyage to Europe, leaving smugglers with a backlog of would-be passengers. So, the smugglers become masters, the migrants and refugees become slaves.

Colombia: court approves peace jurisdiction, with changes

Colombia’s Constitutional Court has approved the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) a post-conflict transitional justice system that is seen as the backbone of the 2016 peace agreement. The Court approved the JEP unanimously, but made several adjustments to the text agreed by the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.

HRW: Rohingya women raped by Myanmar soldiers

A Human Rights Watch report based on firsthand interviews with 52 Rohingya women and girls who have fled to Bangladesh says there is evidence…

Daily World News Digest, 15 November 2017

Calls for government action after disappearance of Bangladeshi academic

Bangladeshi academic Mubashar Hasan may have been subject to an enforced disappearance, Amnesty International said on Monday. His disappearance since 7 November, according to PEN America, “is yet another egregious example of Bangladesh’s failure to protect independent voices within Bangladesh’s intellectual sphere”. Karin Karlekar, director of Free Expression at Risk Programs at PEN America, said Hasan’s disappearance “is another in a long line of grave threats to scholars and independent thinkers in Bangladesh,” and called on the authorities to “step up efforts to find and free Dr. Hasan from whatever forces are responsible for his disappearance as soon as possible.”

Nepal prepares to extend mandate of transitional justice mechanisms

With less than three months to go before the expiry of the tenure of two transitional justice mechanisms in Nepal – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on…

Daily World News Digest, 14 November 2017

Ariel Dulitzky interview on enforced disappearances in Mexico

More than a decade into a violent conflict that seems nowhere near being resolved, Mexico is a country haunted by the missing. The Mexican government estimates that more than 32,000 people have disappeared in the last decade. In 2010, Ariel Dulitzky was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to a five-person working group tasked with investigating the spike in kidnappings. What he found was a government unwilling to tackle the growing problem, which was highlighted by the unsolved 2014 mass kidnapping of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College.

Newspaper tallies 33,293 dead migrants

The German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel has published a list of people it says died while trying to immigrate to Europe between 1993 and May of this year, a list that contains exactly 33,293 entries. These entries offer the circumstances of each migrant’s death, as well as…

Daily World News Digest, 13 November 2017

New mass graves found in Iraq

Iraqi security forces have found mass graves in an area recently retaken from Da’esh, Kirkuk governor Rakan Saed said on Sunday. He said the graves could contain up to 400 bodies. The bodies, of civilians and security forces, were found in an abandoned base near Hawija, a northern town retaken in early October. It is not yet known when exhumations will begin.

UN begins evacuating refugees from Libya to Niger

A group of vulnerable refugees from several African countries, who had been stuck in war-ravaged Libya, have been evacuated to Niger, according to UNHCR. It said the evacuation of 25 “extremely vulnerable refugees” from Libya marked the first of its kind. The country has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many refugees and migrants have fallen prey to serious abuse there at the hands of human traffickers…

Daily World News Digest, 10 November 2017

ICMP at Web Summit on human trafficking

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, Enigma Technologies’ Angel Nguyen, Microsoft’s Josh Holmes, and National Geographic’s Jon Bowermaster formed the panel at the Lisbon Web Summit on “the data to defeat human trafficking”.

Finding Syria’s Disappeared

ICMP’s Policy Director Andreas Kleiser has participated in a discussion facilitated by Global Journalists on “the challenges of finding and identifying Syria’s disappeared”.

El Salvador’s Civil War Victims Demand Reparations

Civil society activists are promoting the creation of a Law for Comprehensive Reparations for Victims of the Armed Conflict in El Salvador. “The idea is that the civilians who suffered in the war, no matter from which side, can receive reparations,” Sofía Hernández from the “Marianela García Villas” Committee of Relatives of Victims of Human Rights Violations said. The 1980-1992 conflict left around 75,000 people dead and 8,000 missing. Among other things, activists are proposing the creation of…

Daily World News Digest, 9 November 2017

Reparations for victims of conflict in Iraq

A report from the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights and the Minority Rights Group International says that ensuring accountability for violations committed and reparations for victims must be an immediate priority for Iraq. The report assesses the country’s existing reparations scheme, which has paid out more than USD 355 million in recent years to victims of “military operations, military mistakes and terrorist actions”. Miriam Puttick, co-author of the report, says reparations should be a central component of the accountability process while programs should be anchored within a transitional justice framework that includes judicial accountability and truth seeking as well as reparations.

Fighting impunity in Libya

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has reaffirmed to the Security Council that her office is continuing its work in Libya, despite challenges arising from security constraints and insufficient resources. The Prosecutor’s Office has…

Daily World News Digest, 8 November 2017

More migrants die on Mediterranean route

Italian authorities have launched an investigation into the deaths of 26 teenage girls whose bodies were recovered in the Mediterranean on Sunday. The girls, aged 14 to 18, are believed to have been migrants from Niger and Nigeria. Their bodies were found close to a flimsy rubber dinghy that had all but sunk when rescuers arrived. Over the weekend, 400 people were brought aboard the Spanish vessel Cantabria before disembarking at the Italian port town of Salerno. Among them were 90 women and 52 minors, including a week-old-baby, authorities said. Since the start of this year, 2,839 migrants have died on the central Mediterranean route, according to the IOM. A total of 150,982 migrants have reached European shores, of whom around 74 percent are Italian arrivals.

UN urges Colombia congress to ratify war crimes tribunal

The UN has indicated that Colombia could be in…

Daily World News Digest, 7 November 2017

Arbitrary arrests continue in Syria

In its monthly report for October, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) says there were 5,397 cases of arbitrary arrest in Syria between the start of 2017 and the beginning of November. It says arbitrary arrests in October were notable for Syrian regime forces’ almost daily arrests involving civilians in areas under the regime’s control, focused on the 18-42 age group for the purpose of conscription, and activists’ and armed opposition fighters’ families. SNHR says Da’esh and Self-Management forces have also continued to carry out arbitrary arrests. The report says at least 588 individuals were arrested in October, including 426 arrests by Syrian regime forces, 78 by Self-Management forces, and 41 by Da’esh.

Colombia: peace legislation pending in Congress

Legislation to establish the framework for implementing the November 2016 peace agreement is now pending in Colombia’s Congress, including key laws to establish the transitional…