Yearly Archives: 2017

Daily World News Digest, 24 November 2017

Search for the missing continues after Ratko Mladic verdict

Against the backdrop of Ratko Mladic’s conviction at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Matthew Holliday, the head of the International Commission on Missing Persons’ Western Balkans program, has explained that ICMP’s pioneering use of DNA technology has led to the identification of around 70 percent of the 40,000 people who were unaccounted for after the conflicts in former Yugoslavia. Holliday adds that ICMP staff provided expert testimony in more than 30 cases at the ICTY, including the Mladic trial.

UN calls on Iraq to probe troop violations during fight with Da’esh

A top UN official has called on the Iraqi government to speed up investigations into allegations of human rights violations committed by security forces during the fight against Da’esh and to make the results public. Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special investigator on extrajudicial executions, has stressed to…

ICMP Convenes Session of Working Group

Baghdad, 23 November 2017: In Baghdad today, ICMP convened a meeting of the Working Group on Data Processing and Protection, focusing on steps that can be taken by Iraqi stakeholders to improve the legal framework supporting efforts to account for the missing. The Working Group brings together representatives of ministries and other government agencies and institutions in Iraq that have a public mandate to address the issue of the missing.

Today’s meeting examined personal data processing in the context of Articles 19 and 20 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED).

ICMP’s Director of Policy and Cooperation Andreas Kleiser presented internationally recognized principles relevant to efforts to investigate the whereabouts of the missing and the circumstances of their disappearance. He invited the group to meet again for further discussion of proposals for legislative reform that…

Daily World News Digest, 23 November 2017

Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has convicted ex-Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic of genocide and crimes against humanity. The ICTY found Mladic guilty on 10 of 11 charges, including the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 10,000 civilians were killed by shelling, mortar and sniper fire. Mladic was hustled out of the court minutes before the verdict for angrily shouting, “This is all lies, you are all liars!”

Nepal: Prime Minister to give testimony on enforced disappearances

The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP), one of the two transitional justice mechanisms in Nepal, is preparing to summon Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to record his statement on the charge that the state of emergency imposed during his tenure as prime minister during…

Daily World News Digest, 22 November 2017

ICTY to deliver verdict in Ratko Mladic trial

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia hands down its verdict on Wednesday in the trial of Ratko Mladic, who is accused of ordering the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, as well as crimes against humanity over the siege of Sarajevo in which 11,000 civilians died from shelling and sniper fire. Munira Subasic of the Mothers of Srebrenica group recalls how Mladic was filmed after the fall of Srebrenica telling women and children that nothing would happen. “After the cameras left he gave an order to kill whoever could be killed, rape whoever could be raped and finally he ordered us all to be banished and chased out of Srebrenica.” The remains of Subasic’s son Nermin and husband Hilmo were both found in mass graves by the International Commission of Missing Persons. ICMP has identified some 6,900…

Daily World News Digest, 21 November 2017

As Mladic awaits verdict, Bosnians still search for loved ones

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will hand down a verdict in the case of Ratko Mladic. Prosecutors say Mladic played a pivotal role in a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing during the 1992-95 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In total, the Bosnian conflict left some 100,000 people dead and around 7,000 of them are still missing. The effort to find their bodies is hampered by the fact that the killers scattered the remains. A laboratory set up in 1996 by the International Commission on Missing Persons has succeeded in identifying 70 percent of the 40,000 missing from the 1990s Balkan conflicts. More than three-quarters of those who disappeared were from Bosnia.

 Why do so many Indian children go missing?

According to India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development, 242,938 children disappeared between 2012 and…

Daily World News Digest, 20 November 2017

Yezidi captives “hidden in plain sight”

Almost half of the more than 6,000 Yezidis kidnapped by Da’esh three years ago have still not been found. Yet many are hidden in plain sight, aid workers and Yezidi activists say, living with Arab families who have sought refuge in refugee camps. Forced to convert to Islam, they now fear for their lives if they are found, according to aid worker and Yezidi activist Mirza Dinaye. “We know they are completely assimilated into the Muslim community,” he says. “They think the Yezidi faith has been eradicated, and often suffer from Stockholm syndrome.”

 Identifying the missing in Bosnia

Forensic anthropologist Dragana Vucetic collects DNA samples from the bones of people killed in eastern Bosnia during the war, including in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, and reassembles their skeletal remains. Vucetic’s employer, the International Commission on Missing Persons, has pioneered a DNA-based identification system. Through…

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…