Monthly Archives: May 2018

Daily World News Digest, 31 May 2018

Missing migrants: a model of inter-governmental cooperation

On 11 June, at the initiative of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), representatives from Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Italy will meet in Rome to discuss measures that governments can begin implementing together in order to address the issue of missing migrants more effectively. Writing in “The Hill”, ICMP Chair Thomas Miller notes that “when a model of inter-governmental cooperation is developed in the Mediterranean, it can be applied in other parts of the world where large numbers of people are going missing.”

Human remains found in suspected Kosovo war grave

Balkan Insight carries a statement by the EU spokesperson in Kosovo saying that remains of five people have been found in a suspected mass grave near the town of Gjakova/Djakovica, although their identity and the cause of death has yet to be established.

Mexico: official involvement in enforced disappearances

The UN…

Daily World News Digest, 30 May 2018

Kosovo: excavations underway in three possible mass gravesites

Kosovo TV reports that the Head of the Kosovo Government’s Missing Persons Commission, Prenk Gjetaj, has announced the resumption of excavations at three possible mass gravesites, after last year’s suspension due to bad weather conditions. He called on the Serbia to cooperate on setting dates for excavations into possible mass graves in Serbia.

Kashmir: authorities urged to investigate unmarked graves

Human Rights Watch has called on the authorities in India to ensure justice for human rights violations in Kashmir, which includes “following up on the order of the state human rights commission to investigate unmarked graves, which many believe also contain the remains of individuals forcibly disappeared, allegedly by the security forces.”

Venezuela: panel cites cases of enforced disappearance

A panel of experts reporting to the Organization of American States has accused the Venezuelan government under President Nicolas Maduro of committing crimes…

Daily World News Digest, 29 May 2018

IOM: global migration death toll reaches 1,134

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says it has recovered the remains of a Nigerian woman migrant, aged 21, on the Durance River along the dangerous route from Italy to France that crosses the Alps. The IOM said the body of the Nigerian woman was the second recovered in the area in May. Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,134 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018.

Human traffickers fire on refugees in Libya

Fifteen refugees were killed and 25 were injured when human traffickers opened fire on 100 refugees who were trying to escape from a detention camp in the north of the country. BBC Arabic reported on 27 May that the injured refugees receive treatment in Bani Walid Town and seven of them are in critical condition. Many are a still being held by the traffickers (article…

Daily World News Digest, 28 May 2018

Philippines: almost 2,000 have disappeared since 1972

As many as 1,993 cases of enforced disappearance have been documented in the Philippines since 1972, according to the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances. Under President Rodrigo Duterte, there have been 37 documented cases, most of which are related to the administration’s war on drugs, positioning Philippines as the country that submitted the highest number of cases of enforced disappearances from Southeast Asia.

Fears of “Philippines-style” extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh

A crackdown on alleged drug dealers has left at least 91 people dead in less than two weeks in Bangladesh, sparking fears of a Philippines-style drug war marked by extrajudicial killings. Most of the deaths have occurred in what the Bangladeshi news media have referred to as shoot-outs or gunfights, although the families of several people killed have said they were arrested by police and died in custody, the South China Morning post…

ICMP, Stakeholders in the missing persons process and families of the missing in the Western Balkans Prepare for London Summit in July

Podgorica, 26 May 2018: Stakeholders in the missing persons process across the Western Balkans met in Podgorica from 23 May to 26 May 2018 to prepare for an upcoming summit in London that will address key challenges facing the region, including how to address the issue of the 12,000 persons who are still missing from the conflicts of the 1990s. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Republic of Croatia which, as a full member of the European Union, supports the Berlin Process.

On 9/10 July, the United Kingdom will host the 5th Berlin Process Western Balkans Summit. Among other issues, the UK has indicated that making progress on the issue of…

Daily World News Digest, 25 May 2018

Syria: 900 bodies exhumed from mass graves in Raqqa

A special unit under the Raqqa Reconstruction Committee that was founded after the liberation of the city from Dae’sh, has put much effort into establishing mass graves in the city and exhuming dead bodies. As part of these efforts, 900 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves so far.

Over 1,000 migrant children are missing in the US

Almost 1,500 migrant children are unaccounted for after being placed with sponsors by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a top HHS official’s testimony on Thursday the New York Times reports. There have been problems before with migrant children being handed over to human traffickers, and that concern has been raised with this number of kids missing.

Pakistan: protest against enforced disappearances intensifies

Activists of human rights organizations, members of civil society and nationalist parties on Thursday took out rallies…

Daily World News Digest, 24 May 2018

Refugees who go missing trying to reach Europe will not stay unnamed

Malta, Italy, Cyprus and Greece have decided to launch an initiative to identify thousands of refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has announced that representatives of these four countries will meet in Rome next month to discuss the details of the initiative. “Cooperation between countries can help to estimate the number of missing — those who have died and those who have survived,” said ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger. (Article in Polish)

Scores of migrants rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar

Spanish and Moroccan maritime services have rescued more than 250 migrants trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar this week. Better weather has seen scores of migrant men, women and children risk their lives trying to cross the strait in small boats.

Bosnia is still searching for 7,000 missing…

Daily World News Digest, 23 May 2018

Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte threatens drug suspects publicly

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told drug suspects to look for a way to get arrested and stay in jail if they want to live longer. In a televised speech on Tuesday, Mr Duterte failed to identify specific targets, but referred to people who grew rich through the illegal drugs trade. It was the latest threat in the President’s anti-drugs crackdown, which has seen more than 4,000, mostly poor drug suspects, killed in clashes with police.

Amnesty: Rohingya insurgents “carried out massacre of Hindus in Myanmar”

Amnesty International has investigated the alleged killings of minority Hindus on 25 August last year and concluded that Myanmar’s army was not the only group that killed civilians in the country. Rohingya insurgents carried out at least one brutal massacre in Rakhine state, the organization says. The Rohingya are an ethnic group, the majority of…

Daily World News Digest, 22 May 2018

New mass graves found in Rwanda

New mass graves from the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 are still being discovered, although the country now faces the phenomenon of genocide denial. In many graves, according to the head of a genocide survivors’ group, “victims were killed and buried, and militias covered them with trash and soil after burning them with acid.”

India: half of those missing in Mumbai are aged 16 to 25

A total of 32,598 people were reported missing from Mumbai in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and 27,565 were subsequently found, according to police. Nearly half of those reported missing in Mumbai every year are aged 16 to 25, which is classified as a “sensitive” age group.

Bangladesh launches “Philippine-style” war on drugs

Twenty-six suspected drug dealers have been killed in raids carried out in different parts of Bangladesh, according to security forces. At least nine suspected traffickers were…

Daily World News Digest, 21 May 2018

Spain: remains of Franco-era victims handed to families

The remains of 22 people killed in the months following Spain’s 1936-39 civil war were handed over to relatives in a ceremony in Guadalajara on Saturday after investigations into a suspected mass grave unearthed the victims. The gravesites of many killed across the country are still unknown, though the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory has documented 114,226 cases of men and women buried in mass graves around Spain.

Burkina Faso: counterterrorism and extrajudicial killings

Armed Islamist groups in Burkina Faso have “executed suspected government collaborators, intimidated teachers and spread fear among civilians throughout the country”, Human Rights Watch said in a report “By Day We Fear the Army, By Night the Jihadists” released today. The report says that counterterrorism operations by security forces in 2017 and 2018 resulted in extrajudicial killings, abuse of suspects in custody and arbitrary arrests.