Yearly Archives: 2018

Daily World News Digest, 14 December 2018

Brazil: victims of dictatorship still waiting for justice

Human Rights Watch marks the 50th anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Brazil by highlighting the effort to account for victims of the dictatorship, including identifications of human remains found in clandestine graves, carried out with the assistance of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). In 2014, Brazil’s National Truth Commission identified 377 state agents, close to 200 of them still alive, as responsible for hundreds of cases of torture, killings, and enforced disappearances. http://bit.ly/2GcY2dR

Human remains of children found in Sri Lanka mass grave

Investigators in Sri Lanka have found the skeletal remains of 21 children as well as signs of possible torture of the dead in the biggest mass grave in the country’s former civil war zone, Mannar, the Independent newspaper from the UK reports. So far, 276 skeletons have been exhumed, but the excavation, which started in…

Daily World News Digest, 13 December 2018

Pakistan: “There is no room for enforced disappearances in a democracy”

Noting that “there is no room for enforced disappearance in a democracy”, Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari has proposed amendments to a draft law on missing persons, the Tribune newspaper reports. Dr Mazari said a series of meetings with “all stakeholders” including Balochistan leader Akhtar Mengal, is underway. https://bit.ly/2RUrIhl

Syria: Hundreds of bodies found

According to the official Sana news agency, seven mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified bodies have been unearthed near the former Da’esh group stronghold of Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, the BBC reports. There were several women among the dead, and more than 100 bodies have been recovered so far. https://bbc.in/2PyBlR2

Philippines urged to ratify UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances

Philippine’s opposition Senator Leila de Lima says President Rodrigo Duterte must ratify the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in order…

Daily World News Digest, 12 December 2018

Mexico: mass graves documented

The Washington Post has published the work of two journalists who have compiled a comprehensive dossier on enforced disappearance in Mexico, including an interactive map showing the mass-grave sites that have been discovered throughout the country since 2006, a phenomenon associated with the war on drugs https://wapo.st/2rvunTb

Mali: new law on post-conflict reconciliation criticized

Amnesty International has urged the Malian authorities not to adopt the post-conflict National Understanding Act in its current form. The Act specifies that amnesties will not be given to people convicted of “war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape and other imprescriptible crime,” but does not prevent amnesties for other crimes under international law such as torture and enforced disappearances, Amnesty says. https://bit.ly/2RUQQ7B

Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines

The Philippines Commission on Human Rights has warned that President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs will lead to a “killing field” if it continues, Aljazeera

Daily World News Digest, 11 December 2018

Accounting for the Missing Is an Investment in Peace

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, Die Tageszeitung in Berlin has published an op-ed by International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Director-General Kathryne Bomberger focusing on the crucial role of accounting for the missing as part of a future peace settlement in Syria. The article appeared in conjunction with a Profiles of the Missing event organized by ICMP in Berlin on Monday with the support of the European Union. (original article in German) https://bit.ly/2SA5HEo

Enforced disappearances in Balochistan

On Human Rights Day, activists held a series of activities in Europe, the US and Canada to highlight the issue of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, the Business Standard reports. https://bit.ly/2UFx0zg

Kenya: NGOs urge action on enforced disappearances

On Human Rights Day, organizations in Kenya, including the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and Amnesty International-Kenya, highlighted the issue of extra-judicial killings and…

Profiles of the Missing: Call for Coordinated Action To Address Issue of Missing Persons from the Syrian Conflict

The Hague 10 December 2018: Families of missing persons are entitled to solidarity, from governments and others, Her Majesty Queen Noor said today, adding that, as well as solidarity, “they need us to understand the nature of their struggle. We must listen and we must act.”

HM Queen Noor was speaking at a conference on “Syria: Effective Responses” organized at the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin today by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

ICMP’s Syria/MENA Program, launched with EU funding in 2017, is working on a range of activities including collecting personal data from families – a key step toward establishing an effective process that can be expanded after a peace settlement. In Berlin today, ICMP brought representatives of families of the missing, from Syria and elsewhere, together with experts and senior policymakers to examine strategies that families can adopt in order to access their rights to…

Daily World News Digest, 10 December 2018

Nuevo Leon: CADHAC project supported by ICMP

The Director of Citizens in Support of Human Rights (CADHAC), Consuelo Morales, has announced the launch of a new initiative to account for missing persons in the state of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico, Posta news portal from Latin America reports. The initiative, which is being supported by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), will build on work that has been done by ICMP and CADHAC together since 2014 to document missing persons cases. https://bit.ly/2rr9et8

More than 500 bodies exhumed in Syria

More than 500 human remains have been exhumed at a mass grave believed to contain the bodies of civilians and Da’esh militants, in Raqqa, Syria, VOA News reports. Local experts said about 1,500 more bodies were thought to have been buried at the Panorama mass grave, named after a nearby roundabout. Rights groups are calling for the preservation of bodies and…

Daily World News Digest, 7 December 2018

Mexico: families of the missing search for mass graves

CBS News reports on the efforts of families of the missing who are members of an organization called Colectivo Familias Unidas por Nayarit (Collective of Families United for Nayarit), a civil society organization working in the state of Nayarit on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The article notes that the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero “caused a surge in search collectives across the country,” with families taking the initiative to account for missing relatives in the absence of greater coordination at state and national level. https://cbsn.ws/2L1rCSC

MSF ship Aquarius ends migrant rescue in Mediterranean

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says it has been forced to end migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean carried out by the vessel Aquarius, the BBC reports. MSF blamed “sustained attacks on search and rescue by European states”. The Aquarius began operations in 2015 and came…

Daily World News Digest, 6 December 2018

Egypt: suspects listed in case of murdered Italian student

The lawyer for the family of Giulio Regeni, the Italian doctoral student murdered in Egypt in 2016, says she has a list of 20 additional suspects, The Guardian reports. Regeni disappeared on 25 January 2016, and his body was found on an outlying Cairo desert road on 4 February that year. Earlier this week Roman prosecutors formally placed under investigation five members of Egypt’s National Security Agency. They were the first Egyptians to be named by the Italians in connection with the case after almost three years. https://bit.ly/2zJFnky

Philippines: Only 76 deaths investigated related to drug war

From July 2016 to August 2018, the Philippines Department of Justice investigated only 76 murder cases nationwide related to the drug war, excluding numbers from Manila, Quezon City, and Taguig, where statistics are still being compiled, the the Rappler news portal reports, noting that this has…

Daily World News Digest, 5 December 2018

Accounting for the missing in the Western Balkans

Federalna.ba from Bosnia and Herzegovina reports on the first meeting of the Missing Persons Group that will promote the effort to account for those who are still missing in the Western Balkans, in line with the Framework Plan that was signed in November in The Hague under the auspices of the International Commission on Missing Persons. (original article in BCS) https://bit.ly/2FXMifn

Mexico: new probe into disappearance of students

Mexico’s new President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has formed a new truth commission to investigate the disappearance of 43 students, at the same time promising an end to impunity, Al Jazeera reports. The students disappeared in the town of Iguala while on their way to a protest in September 2014. https://bit.ly/2BRSUYx

UN team to begin Da’esh investigation in Iraq

A UN team authorized over a year ago to investigate the massacre of the Yezidi minority and…

Accounting for the Missing in the Western Balkans Continues with the Support of the United Kingdom

Sarajevo 4 December 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has convened the first meeting of the Missing Persons Group (MPG), in Herceg Novi, Montenegro. The MPG will supervise operations under the Framework Plan signed in November in The Hague by the representatives of the domestic institutions responsible for missing persons issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

At the two-day meeting, which ended today, the MPG clearly defined the next steps to resolve as many as possible of the estimated 12,000 missing persons cases that are still outstanding. This includes action to resolve “NN” (no name, or unidentified) cases in mortuaries across the region through targeted pilot projects; procedures for sharing data on the missing and potential locations of clandestine gravesites among the members of the MPG; and joint participation at excavations of mutual interest.

Matthew Holliday, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, commended the…