Monthly Archives: November 2017

Daily World News Digest, 6 November 2017

Egypt: lawyer combating enforced disappearance arrested

Egypt has summoned the ambassadors of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands after they criticized the arrest of an Egyptian human rights lawyer opposed to enforced disappearances. Ibrahim Metwally was detained in September. Metwally, who founded the Association for the Families of the Disappeared, provided legal assistance to the family of Italian student Giulio Regeni, whose tortured body was discovered in Cairo in February 2016. Metwally was detained on suspicion of “dealing with foreign parties” and “spreading false news”. He was also accused of having set up an “illegal” group.

Philippines: Catholic bishops call for end to extrajudicial killings

Catholic bishops in the Philippines have called for an end to killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. The killing of three teenagers in August triggered public protests against Mr. Duterte’s campaign, with rights groups accusing him of committing crimes against humanity in a crackdown that…

Germany Continues Support for ICMP in Iraq

The Hague, 6 November: The German Federal Foreign Office has provided ICMP with a grant of 1,178,445 Euros to continue its assistance in helping the Iraqi authorities address the vast and complicated issue of locating and identifying missing and disappeared persons from decades of conflict, human rights abuses and other causes. This grant builds upon earlier contributions made between 2010-2017 for Iraq and allows ICMP to expand its work through 2018.

Between 250,000 and one million people have gone missing in Iraq from decades of conflict and human rights abuse. Although the country has taken steps to address the issue through legislation and the establishment of institutions, including signing the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in 2010, these efforts have been severely constrained by continuing and chronic instability. The inability to deal adequately with the missing persons issue has undermined attempts to address the…

Daily World News Digest, 3 November 2017

UN: Iraq not equipped to try Da’esh over atrocities against Yazidis

Iraq does not have the capacity to try Da’esh members accused of committing atrocities during the battle for Mosul and must find other routes, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), a UN human rights report says. At least 2,521 civilians were killed during the nine-month battle, including 741 people who were executed, while at least 74 mass graves have been discovered since June 2014 in areas previously held by Da’esh. “Iraqi courts and tribunals do not have jurisdiction over international crimes and prosecutors, police investigators and judges lack capacity” the report says.

Iraq: Anbar displaced barred from going home

Iraqi security officials are preventing displaced families from returning home because of perceived ties to Da’esh, Human Rights Watch has said. At the same time, the authorities are forcing other families to return home, even when these families fear…

Daily World News Digest, 2 November 2017

 Where are Syria’s disappeared, detained, and kidnapped?

Negotiations at the international and local levels to end the conflict in Syria “have marginalized demands to uncover the fate” of victims of enforced disappearance, an article published by Human Rights Watch argues. It notes that “government forces and non-state armed groups have disappeared, detained, and kidnapped tens of thousands”. Earlier this month, 500 detainees in Homs Central Prison announced a hunger strike to demand their release, while Syrians who have escaped from Da’esh and are now in Europe are seeking information about the kidnapping, detention, and execution of family members.

Filmmaker documents Syria’s disappeared

British journalist and filmmaker, Sara Afshar spent 18 months investigating some of the 65,000 people forcibly “disappeared” in the Syrian conflict following stories of detention, government defectors, and international war crime investigators on their campaigns for the release of the disappeared. They are the basis for her…

Daily World News Digest, 1 November 2017

Albania’s search for hundreds of mass graves

Albania’s government is in consultation with the International Commission on Missing Persons about the possibility of locating mass graves and identifying victims of enforced disappearance from the Communist era. Between 1945 and 1991, an estimated 200,000 people passed through labor camps in Albania, and more than 6,000 went missing.

Protecting the right to security in The Philippines

The Philippine Star has published an opinion piece examining the case of two young men, Manny and Raffy, who were abducted and tortured by soldiers in a village in Luzon. They escaped after eighteen months. Even though they are now physically free, the piece notes, “the people who have abducted and detained them are still at large and have not been accountable in any way. They are directly connected with the armed forces and are thus in a position to threaten Manny and Raffy’s rights to…