Yearly Archives: 2017

Daily World News Digest, 14 March 2017

Thailand urged to ratify Convention against Enforced Disappearance 

Human Rights Watch published an article yesterday calling on the Thai government to take final steps to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. It said the government should also end delays in passing implementing legislation to criminalize torture and disappearances. On 10 March, the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly unanimously approved ratification of the Convention, which Thailand signed in 2012. However, the government has not yet set a clear timeframe for depositing the treaty with the UN Secretary-General as required, or for reconsidering and enacting the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Bill, which the assembly rejected in late February.

Call for “international and independent” defense of human rights in Sri Lanka 

The Wire, a news portal from India, published an interview on Sunday with Yasmin Sooka, the executive director of the Foundation for…

Daily World News Digest, 13 March 2017

Iraq: “remains of prisoners” found at mass grave near Mosul 

The BBC reported yesterday that more evidence has been discovered of a reported massacre in 2014 of up to 600 inmates at Badoush prison near Mosul, according to Iraqi forces. The Shia-led Hashd al-Shaabi forces said human remains had been found at the site “with prison uniforms”. Da’esh is alleged to have killed hundreds of inmates, most of them Shia Muslims, when it seized Mosul in 2014. Badoush prison was recaptured earlier this week. A spokesman for Hashd al-Shaabi said the bodies had been “lined up in a way that indicates they were shot dead in groups”.

Why are girls disappearing all over Canada?

The BBC carried a story on 10 March on the missing persons crisis among indigenous women in Canada. In 2015, the Canadian police released a report which concluded that First Nations women are four times more likely to go missing…

Daily World News Digest, 10 March 2017

Romania: prison warden faces trial for 102 deaths 

Balkan Insight reported yesterday that Romanian criminal prosecutors at the Supreme Court on Thursday indicted a former communist-era warden at the Galati prison under whose watch 102 detainees – 90 of them political prisoners – were killed and buried in mass graves in the eastern Danube port of Galati between 1959 and 1961. After their deaths, the families were never notified and they were buried in anonymous graves in the prison yard. Their remains were never identified. 

Enforced disappearances documented in Egypt 

The World Weekly published an article yesterday on the human rights situation in Egypt since the Arab Spring. In its annual review, Human Rights Watch said President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government “is consolidating and escalating repression. Absent strong responses from the international community, authorities will continue to squeeze the space for exercising basic freedoms into nothing.” Between August 2015 and…

Daily World News Digest, 9 March 2017

Three mass graves discovered in central Congo

Reuters reported yesterday on the discovery of three mass graves in central Democratic Republic of Congo, where hundreds have been killed since July in clashes between security forces and a local militia. At least 400 people have died and 200,000 have been displaced since the fighting broke out with the Kamuina Nsapu militia. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein urged the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to set up an inquiry “in light of recurrent reports of grave violations and the recent discovery of three more mass graves”. Congo’s government has said it is investigating allegations of rights abuses, including a video last month that appeared to show Congolese troops massacring militia members. However, it has dismissed offers of support from the UN rights office in Congo, which it accuses of bias.

Burundi rejects reports of enforced disappearances…

HRH the Prince of Wales Meets Representatives of Families of the Missing from Southeast Europe

The Hague, 8 March 2017: HRH the Prince of Wales invited representatives of families of the missing from Southeast Europe to meet with him at his home today. The meeting, facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), allowed family representatives to brief HRH on the progress that has been made in accounting for those who went missing as a result of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, and to present the steps that must be taken in order to ensure that efforts to account for those who are still missing continue. Today’s meeting, at Clarence House in London, followed a presentation in Pristina by families of the missing during a tour of the countries of the former Yugoslavia by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in March 2016.

HRH noted that he had been impressed by…

Daily World News Digest, 8 March 2017

Sri Lanka: bill to ratify Convention on Enforced Disappearances presented to parliament 

The Daily Mirror, from Sri Lanka, reports today that the government has presented a bill to ratify and implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Sri Lanka became a signatory of the Convention on 10 December 2015. The bill was presented to Parliament by the Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella, on Wednesday afternoon. It seeks to ensure the right to Justice and reparation for victims of enforced disappearances.

Iraqi families search for closure in Mosul’s mass graves 

The Financial Times reports today that local residents in Mosul are taking it upon themselves to begin excavating mass graves near them, hoping to end the agony of not knowing the fate of missing loved ones. “All of those we’ve lost — we don’t expect them to come back. But we hope at least…

Daily World News Digest, 7 March 2017

Egypt: rights group reports disappearances in February

Middle East Monitor carried a story yesterday on a report published by the El-Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, which says 107 extrajudicial killings were committed by security forces in Egypt in February. The report, titled “Archive of Oppression”, documents 110 cases of enforced disappearances during the same month, ten of which were carried out during investigations at police stations. The report includes testimonies of families of detainees and families of the disappeared.

Burundi: program to exhume bodies from mass graves begins

All Africa reported yesterday that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) in Burnundi has officially begun the exhumation of buried bones in mass graves in Mwaro central province. Muramvya, Mwaro and Rumonge have been selected as pilot provinces for the identification of mass graves. Some have argued that the exercise could “lead to more division among the population,…

Daily World News Digest, 6 March 2017

Iraq: mass grave discovered in Kirkuk  

Iraqi News reported yesterday that authorities in Kirkuk province have encountered a mass grave containing the bodies of Kurdish Peshmerga troops, officials say. Shakhwan Abdullah, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee, said on Sunday that the grave, found in the Daqouq region in Northern Iraq contained the remains of 20 fighters from the Kurdistan Region’s army force who are believed to have been killed and buried by Da’esh.

Ireland: mass grave found in former Catholic orphanage 

Fox News reported on 4 March that a mass grave containing the remains of babies and young children has been discovered at a former Catholic orphanage in Ireland, government-appointed investigators announced Friday in a finding that offered the first conclusive proof following a historian’s efforts to trace the fates of nearly 800 children who perished there. The commission said DNA analysis of selected remains…

Daily World News Digest, 3 March 2017

EU: Political group seeks help to find missing children 

The EU Reporter published an article yesterday noting that the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) has called on the EU Commission to help identify migrant children. On 1 March, at the request of the ALDE Group, the European Parliament debated measures to tackle the disappearance of migrant children. According to Europol, at least 10,000 migrant and refugee children have gone missing after arriving in Europe. “It has already been one year since EUROPOL announced the disappearance of 10,000 migrant children in Europe and yet, almost nothing has been done,” an ALDE spokesperson said.

Iraq mass grave littered with landmines 

The Independent reported yesterday that, as it continues to lose territory in Iraq, Da’esh has littered the ground around the country’s largest known mass grave – at the khasfah sinkhole near Mosul – with land mines. Shifa Gardi, a…

Daily World News Digest, 2 March 2017

UN: both sides committed war crimes in Aleppo

Aljazeera reported yesterday that a UN probe has found that both sides committed war crimes in last year’s battle for Aleppo. The UN Commission of Inquiry’s report released on Wednesday said Syrian government and allied Russian forces “pervasively used” unguided munitions to bomb densely populated areas in rebel-held eastern Aleppo between July and its fall on 22 December, amounting to the war crime of indiscriminate attacks. According to the report, opposition groups shelled government-controlled western Aleppo, indiscriminately firing with no clear military target. As the opposition resistance was crumbling and civilians tried to escape, some rebel armed groups prevented civilians from fleeing eastern Aleppo, using them as “human shields”, and attacked the residential Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud – both war crimes. 

Syria’s Opposition points to signs of progress at Geneva talks

Aljazeera reported yesterday that the ongoing Syria talks in Geneva appeared to…