Yearly Archives: 2017

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…

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…