Monthly Archives: August 2018

Daily World News Digest, 31 August 2018

ICMP: states must endeavor to account for the missing

ReliefWeb, Aljazeera Balkans, Lebanon Files, and FOKUS news agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina published an op-ed by ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, highlighting the close connection between addressing the issue of disappearances and upholding the rule of law.

Forbes: International Day of the Disappeared

Forbes Magazine has published an overview of the International Day of the Disappeared, examining the most pressing instances of enforced disappearances by state and non-state actors around the world.

Syria reveals fate of the disappeared

CNN investigates the fate of 800 disappeared Syrians whose death notices were issued by the Syrian governments this summer, dispelling government claims of natural deaths in government prisons.

Bosnia Searches for Mass Grave

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Missing Persons Institute is excavating a suspected mass grave containing 29…

ICMP Joins Albanian Partners To Mark International Day of the Disappeared

Tirana, Albania, 30 August 2018: In Tirana today, Matthew Holliday, Head of the Western Balkans Program at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), presented ICMP’s “Site Locator”, an on-line application that facilitates the search for clandestine gravesites. Mr Holliday also spoke about the “Report a Missing Person” module, which makes it possible for people to provide information that can assist in resolving missing persons cases. Both of these programs are accessed through the Online Inquiry Centre (OIC) at

Mr Holliday was speaking at an event in Tirana today that was organized with ICMP support by the Authority for Information on Former Communist Police Secret Files and the Institute for the Integration of the Formerly Politically Persecuted, to mark International Day of the Disappeared.

“The Albanian authorities and ICMP share the goal of protecting the rights of families of the missing, in particular by ensuring that the whereabouts of…

States Must Endeavour to Account for the Missing

30 August 2018: In an op-ed published on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons, Kathryne Bomberger, has highlighted the close connection between accounting for the missing and upholding the rule of law.

Ms Bomberger notes that “governments have well recognized human rights obligations to investigate reports about missing persons and to establish the circumstances of their disappearance, and to do this without regard to nationality, ethnicity or other group characteristics.” She stresses that “no lesser investigative standard is justified based on whether a person goes missing in armed conflict, a maritime disaster or as a migrant fleeing pervasive lawlessness and abuse. Individuals may be traveling on forged documents, or with no documents at all; they may have paid a trafficker for passage in an unregistered vessel. These contraventions have no bearing on the obligations of states when people…

Baghdad Conference Addresses Multiple Aspects Of the Missing Persons Issue  

Baghdad, 30 August 2018: To mark International Day of the Disappeared, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), in cooperation with the Foundation for Art in Life, organized an event at the National Museum in Baghdad today, which was attended by more than a hundred participants representing almost all government ministries, as well as diplomatic missions and civil society.

Relatives of the missing gave powerful testimonies, describing the challenges that families face when a loved one is a victim of disappearance.

Accompanying the public discussion was an exhibition of art and videography on the theme of missing persons, created by artists from throughout Iraq and from different communities and ethnic groups, exploring the missing persons theme. During the event, the celebrated cellist, Karim Wasfi, played an original composition marking International Day of the Disappeared.

In their remarks, government officials agreed on the need for a proactive response to the issue of missing…

Daily World News Digest, 30 August 2018

ICMP: states must endeavor to account for the missing

Al Jazeera, Lebanon File and Relief Web have published an op-ed by the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, highlighting the close connection between accounting for missing persons and upholding the rule of law.

Pakistan: government urged to criminalize enforced disappearances

In a statement on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, the Chairman of Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), Ali Nawaz Chohan, has urged the government to amend the Pakistan Penal Code to make enforced disappearances an offence, Dawn newspaper reports.

Portugal commemorates the Disappeared

Portuguese news outlet, Mundo A Minuto, reports on the International Day of the Disappeared and the efforts by groups including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Amnesty International to…

Daily World News Digest, 29 August 2018

Syria: 82,000 forcibly disappeared since 2011

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) says in a report that almost 82,000 Syrians have been forcibly disappeared by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad since the start of the conflict, with more than 14,000 listed as having died in detention.

Spain: Civil War mass grave uncovered

Forensic archaeologists in eastern Spain have unearthed remains from a mass grave of 100 people believed to have been executed by the Franco regime at the end of the Civil War, Sky News reports. Mass graves across Spain are believed to hold at least 114,000 victims of the Civil War.

Mediterranean migrants detained in Libya

African migrants refused entry by Italy last week said they have been detained by smugglers for up to two years in Libya and subject to human rights abuses. Reuters reports that the International Organization for Migration believes that thousands of…

Daily World News Digest, 28 August 2018

UN releases report on Myanmar

The UN Human Rights Council has released a summary report detailing crimes against humanity committed in the Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states in Myanmar, which include enforced disappearance of Rohingya and other religious and ethnic minorities. The report qualified the persecution and murder of ethnic minorities as a genocide.

Malaysia: inquiry into activist’s disappearance

Free Malaysia Today reports on testimony given by a former inspector-general of police to the public inquiry into the disappearance of activist Amri Che Mat, who went missing in November 2016. His wife previously stated that five vehicles blocked Amri’s car before he was abducted from an area near his home in the northern state of Perlis.

Turkey: demonstration to commemorate the missing shut down by police

Voice of America reports that police in Istanbul have stopped a vigil organized by the Saturday Mothers, a group protesting forced disappearances and…

Daily World News Digest, 27 August 2018

HRW sends open letter to Imran Khan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, Imran Khan, to address the longstanding human rights situation in the country, including the problem of enforced disappearance, citing “serious allegations of human rights violations including torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings during counterterrorism operations”.

Pakistan: almost 2,000 “active pending cases” of enforced disappearance

The Nation newspaper from Pakistan reports that the country’s National Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances says there are currently 1,815 active pending cases of enforced disappearance. The paper notes that families of the missing are expected to demonstrate throughout the country on Thursday, the International Day of the Disappeared.

Sri Lanka mass grave

The BBC reports that skeletal remains of more than 90 individuals have been unearthed during excavations at a mass grave in Mannar in northern Sri Lanka. The lead forensic archeologist says the gravesite combines…

Daily World News Digest, 24 August 2018

US-Mexico Border: challenges in identifying missing migrants

The Center for Investigative Reporting has published an in-depth analysis of efforts to account for missing migrants who have attempted to cross the US-Mexico border. Connecting missing migrants cases to unidentified remains is primarily done through the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).

Bosnia and Herzegovina: commemoration of 1992 massacre

Survivors and victims’ families have commemorated 224 Bosniak and Croat prisoners of war who were killed in August 1992 at the Koricani cliffs on Mount Vlasic in Central Bosnia, N1 reports. Eleven people were sentenced to a total of 200 years in prison for the massacre. The remains of 80 of the victims have not yet been found.

HRW urges UN to convene special session on Nicaragua

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has written to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with the support of 54 regional NGOs calling on the…

Daily World News Digest, 23 August 2018

Kidnappings in Mexico decline

Mexico News Daily reports that kidnappings in Mexico have declined by 16 percent in the first seven months of 2018 compared to the same period last year. The numbers recorded during the term of President Enrique Peña Nieto remain the highest of any previous six-year presidential term, however, with more than 7,000 cases of disappearances registered.

Nigerians missing on routes to Europe

The News Agency of Nigeria reports from the state of Edo in the south of the country, which it says has the highest number of human trafficking cases, recording more than 3,883 Libya returnees since November 2017. It quotes the chair of the state Task Force Against Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration as saying that more than half of Nigerian returnees from Libya were from Edo and that “we have records of thousands of Nigerians who were killed or missing in the Sahara…