Monthly Archives: July 2018

Srebrenica Genocide 23 Years Later Truth and Justice the Only Way Forward

The Hague, 11 July 2018: Twenty-three years after the Srebrenica Genocide, it is crucial to uphold a truthful narrative of what happened, and to continue efforts to account for those who are still missing and to bring those who were responsible to justice, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

“Today, ICMP stands with the families who are burying their loved ones,” Ms Bomberger said. “ICMP stands with the families of the disappeared and with all those who are fighting for truth, for justice and for reparation.”

The murder of 8,000 men and boys after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995 is the only recognized genocide on European soil since World War Two. ICMP introduced a DNA-led identification process that has made it possible to account for 6,940 victims of the genocide, almost 90 percent. Today, 35 victims identified in the last 12 months were laid to rest at the Potocari…

EU and Western Balkan Countries Sign Joint Declaration Citing Efforts to Account for Missing Persons from 1990s

London, 10 July 2018: The Prime Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Slovenia and Poland signed a Joint Declaration in London this afternoon which, among other things, reiterates their commitment to supporting efforts to account for 12,000 people who are still missing as a result of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia.

“The Joint Declaration is a crucial document because it upholds the rights of all families of the missing to truth, justice and reparations,” the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, said after the signing ceremony at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Before the signing of the Joint Declaration today by the heads of government, Ms Bomberger and the UK’s Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, met at the FCO with the heads of the national institutions from Montenegro, Serbia,…

Daily World News Digest, 10 July 2018

US border: concerns over DNA tests to reunite migrant families

The US government’s plan to reunite immigrant children with their parents via DNA testing is an unusual but not unprecedented use of the swab-based tests, Reuters reports, adding that “it’s unknown what type of tests are done, who does them, how accurate they are and whether the genetic information gathered about the immigrants will be included in US government databases.” The administration said it would start DNA tests after a court order to reunite families separated under its “zero-tolerance immigration policy.

Truck carrying 35 Srebrenica victims passes through Sarajevo

A truck carrying the remains of 35 newly identified victims of the Srebrenica genocide passed through Sarajevo on Monday on its way to the Srebrenica Memorial Center, where the bodies will be laid to rest on 11 July. The youngest victim of the 1995 massacre to be buried this year is…

Daily World News Digest, 9 July 2018

 Mediterranean migration: latest numbers on missing persons

The International Organization for Migration reports that 46,449 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first half of 2018, compared to 101,213 at this time last year, and more than 231,503 at this time in 2016. Since the beginning of the year, 1,412 people have lost their lives in the Mediterranean. Since 18 June, 489 people have died or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean off the coast of Libya.

Syria: Five more cases of enforced disappearance submitted to UN

The NGOs Akrama and Human Rights Guardians have submitted five cases of enforced disappearances in Syria to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID ), requesting that UN experts promptly intervene with the Syrian authorities to secure the individuals’ immediate release. Press Release Point reports that all five men were arrested, without a warrant or an explanation…

Daily World News Digest, 6 July 2018

ICMP fosters international cooperation on missing migrants

National Public Radio has produced extended coverage of ICMP’s efforts to foster cooperation among Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta, as well as international organizations and other countries to address the issue of missing migrants in the Mediterranean. “We’ve shown that you can find missing people, even against enormous odds, if you have a sustainable plan in place and if there is political will,” says ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger.

UN urged to address enforced disappearances in Syria

A report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights’ (SNHR) has highlighted arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances in Syria and calls on the UN Security Council to follow up on implementation of Resolution 2042, 2043, and 2139 which state that enforced-disappearance should be cease. The SNHR report also urges the UN Human Rights Council to follow up on the issue of detainees and forcibly-disappeared persons in…

Daily World News Digest, 5 July 2018

Syria: call for international assistance in exhuming mass graves

Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday that with an unknown number of mass graves in the city of Raqqa and surrounding areas in Syria, and thousands of bodies left to be recovered, local authorities affiliated with the Raqqa Civil Council are struggling to cope with the logistical challenges of collecting and organizing information. Identifying missing people and preserving evidence for possible prosecutions will have implications for justice in Syria as a whole, HRW said.

Iraq: opening number 15 grave at Camp Speicher

The authorities in Iraq have announced that despite high temperatures, excavation of “grave number 15” at Camp Speicher in Tikrit has begun. Photographs of excavation work were posted on Facebook on 5 July. Grave 15 is located at the presidential palace complex. Due to high temperatures, excavation is being undertaken during hours of darkness (article in Arabic).


Daily World News Digest, 4 July 2018

ICMP helping Mediterranean countries to account for missing migrants

The International Commission on Missing Persons is playing a key role in helping Mediterranean countries of Malta, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy in sharing information on migrants buried in unmarked graves as part of a wider effort to reunite families of the missing with the remains of their loved ones. National Public Radio reports that the effort involves governments, humanitarian organizations and migrant associations. The goal is to start collecting investigative threads in these four countries on missing migrants and eventually begin to build a DNA database.

Egypt refuses to build refugee camps for migrants deported from Europe

Middle East Monitor reports that Egypt has refused to build refugee camps in the country, after an EU migration deal revealed that European leaders would seek to establish centers in the Middle East and Africa to host deported asylum seekers. The country currently…

Daily World News Digest, 3 July 2018

Syria: Challenges in unearthing mass graves in former Da’esh controlled areas

Human Rights Watch reports that due to an unknown number of mass graves in the city of Raqqa and surrounding areas local authorities affiliated with the Raqqa Civil Council are struggling to cope with the logistical challenges recovering bodies and providing it to families searching for missing or dead relatives. It is believed that thousands of bodies are to be recovered from mass graves in the city, while exhumations are further complicated by the presence of landmines.

Malta detains second migrant rescue ship as hundreds die at sea

According to Yahoo News, on Monday Malta stopped a second migrant rescue ship from leaving its port, as the UN refugee agency reported over 300 migrant deaths at sea in four days. The decision by Malta to detain the ship comes just days after Lifeline, another charity boat, was impounded after…

Daily World News Digest, 2 July 2018

Bosnia and Herzegovina: 35 burials in Srebrenica in July

The N1 news channel reports that the mortal remains of at least 35 victims of the Srebrenica genocide will be buried this month at the Potocari Memorial Center. The Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the assistance of the International Commission on Missing Persons, is searching for and identifying victims in mass graves across the Srebrenica region and further.

Mediterranean: more than 200 new fatalities

Anadolu Agency reports that in the past three days 204 migrants died at sea off Libya. Three infants were among the 103 people who drowned on Friday.

Nepal to copy Colombian model of transitional justice

In an opinion piece, The Kathmandu Post examines a new Transitional Justice Act that the government of Nepal is preparing to send to Parliament. Stemming from the failure of previous commissions on truth and on disappearances, the new…