Monthly Archives: August 2018

Daily World News Digest, 22 August 2018

Remains unearthed from mass grave in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Daily Mirror reports that skeletal remains belonging to 66 individuals have been unearthed during excavations at a mass grave in Mannar in the north of the country. Forty of the 66 skeletal remains have been placed with the local magistrate’s court.

Pakistan: family members of activist disappear

Family members of a Sindhi activist for the Voice for Missing Persons in Pakistan have allegedly been victims of enforced disappearance, according to the Express Tribune, which cites renewed calls for the recovery of people who have been forcibly disappeared in the Sindh region.

US urged to act on migrant children

While steps have been taken to reunite 2,551 children with their families following separation at the US-Mexico border, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) notes that 572 children remain in custody in the US. The IACHR has urged the…

Daily World News Digest, 20 August 2018

Mediterranean migration: the specter of oblivion

The celebrated author Khaled Hosseini writes in The Guardian about those who have perished and those who have survived the Mediterranean migration, reporting from a cemetery in Sicily where many of the bodies, “arrived too ravaged for even fingerprinting; their names and histories, the whole of the breathing, dreaming souls they had once been, swallowed for ever by the sea”.

Committee formed to investigate missing from Iran-Iraq war

The Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Kurdish Regional Government Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs have formed a committee to investigate the fate of missing Iraqi and Iranian soldiers. Abbas Fazil, the Head of the Missing Persons’ department in the Iraqi Defense Ministry told Rudaw News Agency that the committee will investigate locations from the Iran-Iraq war “where there are still hundreds of bodies which are neither found nor identified.” (original article in Arabic)

Daily World News Digest, 17 August 2018

ICMP statement on Srebrenica

N1 and multiple new outlets carried the response by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to an initiative in the Republike Srpska (RS) National Assembly to annul the Report on Srebrenica presented to the RS government in 2004. ICMP cited the incontrovertible scientific evidence it has produced on the identification of victims of the Srebrenica Genocide.

Over 3,000 Izadis still missing in Iraq

On 15 August, the Kurdistan Regional Government hosted a conference on the Yazidi Genocide, discussing the fate of 3,102 Yazidis still missing since the Da’esh attack in Northern Iraq in mid-2014. FARS News Agency reports that Kurdish authorities have called on the international community as well as the central government in Baghdad to discover the fate of missing Yazidis.

Yemen: Amnesty calls for release of activist

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of a human rights activist abducted in…

ICMP: the Facts Surrounding Srebrenica Are Not Disputable

The Hague August 16: In the Republika Srpska (RS) National Assembly on Tuesday attempts were made to reject or significantly amend the Report of the Commission for Investigation of the Events in and around Srebrenica between 10 and 19 July 1995, produced for the RS Government 14 years ago. The Report laid out the facts surrounding the events at Srebrenica and called on the RS leadership to apologize to the families of the victims.

The RSNA’s move to reject or amend this Report directly undermines reconciliation and the full implementation of the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The facts established by the Report have been confirmed by international and domestic criminal courts. The facts have also been supported by two decades of systematic forensic work conducted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). ICMP’s work has confirmed earlier conclusions regarding the events at Srebrenica and Zepa in…

Daily World News Digest, 16 August 2018

Chile sentences Pinochet-era police agents to prison

Chile’s Supreme Court has sentenced 24 former police agents to prison for the 1974 disappearance of a man who was arrested and tortured during the crackdown on leftists under dictator General Augusto Pinochet. The Santiago Times reports that Chile’s government estimates 3,095 people were killed during Pinochet’s dictatorship from 1973 to 1990, including about 1,200 who were forcibly disappeared.

Hundreds of migrants feared dead at US-Mexico Border

Democracy Now reports on the increasing risk posed to asylum-seekers hoping to illegally enter the US and the problem of missing migrants at the US-Mexico border. Journalist John Carlos Frey, highlights the need to retrieve the remains of deceased migrants and catalogue them in a database so that families of the missing can be reunited with their loved ones.

Mexico: Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s responsibility to the Disappeared

In These Times reports on the challenges…

Daily World News Digest, 15 August 2018

Identifying the missing in Iraq

German news outlet ARTE reports on mass graves found in Iraq in areas recently liberated from Da’esh and the issue of finding missing and disappeared persons during the war. The report covers operations by the International Commission on Missing Persons in Iraq. (Original article in German)

Amnesty calls for details about enforced disappearances in Syria

Amnesty International has launched a campaign to reveal the fate of 75,000 people who were forcibly disappeared during the war in Syria. Amnesty has accused armed groups in Syria of forcibly disappearing civilians and “subjecting them to torture and other forms of ill-treatment.”

Investigation into 36 disappearances in Mexico continues

A military base in Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico has opened its doors to federal authorities and families of missing persons as an investigation continues into the disappearance of 36 people in Nuevo Laredo between February and May of this year,…

Daily World News Digest, 14 August 2018

Bangladesh: campaigner against enforced disappearance in hiding

The Daily Telegraph reports that prominent Bangladeshi activist and blogger Pinaki Bhattacharya is in hiding after the authorities in Dhaka allegedly called for his arrest. Bhattacharya’s decision to highlight alleged corruption, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings has made him a target of the intelligence services.

Canadian MP flags human rights abuses in Pakistan

Canadian politician Tom Kmiec has raised concerns over persecution of ethnic minority Sindhis in Pakistan and accused Pakistani security agencies of extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearance, according to Asian News International. Kmiec has called on the Canadian foreign minister to halt aid to Pakistan until its human rights record is reviewed.

Syria: the fate of disappeared activist still unknown

The Associated Press reports on the disappearance of one of Syria’s best-known activists, Razan Zaitouneh. Zaithouneh was kidnapped in December of 2013 with her husband and two colleagues, allegedly by members of…

Daily World News Digest, 13 August 2018

Amnesty calls for action on enforced disappearances in Mexico

Amnesty International has presented a memorandum to Mexico’s President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador listing specific recommendations “with the aim of contributing to the new government’s plans and actions to resolve the human rights crisis facing the country,” drawing attention to issues such as access to justice, enforced disappearances, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, violence against human rights defenders and journalists, gender-based violence against women, girls and LGBTI people, abuses experienced by migrants and refugees, and the use of torture.

Chinese government allegedly detains Uighur Scholar

The New York Times has highlighted the case of a prominent scholar from China’s Uighur ethnic minority who was allegedly detained in December as part of the Chinese government’s crackdown on the Uighurs. The disappearance is one of hundreds of thousands in Xinjiang in western China who have gone missing, the paper says. It is believed…

Daily World News Digest, 10 August 2018

Families for Freedom campaigns on disappearances in Syria
The Nation reports on the activities of Families for Freedom, a grassroots movement founded by Syrian women that aims to give a voice to the relatives of the detained and the disappeared. The group works mostly in Lebanon, Germany, Belgium, Turkey and the UK to raise awareness of the disappeared, and demand to know the fates of their love ones.

UN calls on Nicaragua to end persecution of dissenters
UN News has published a statement condemning “the criminalization of human rights defenders, journalists and other protestors” by the Nicaraguan government and paramilitary groups. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on Nicaraguan authorities to “demobilize paramilitary groups and to investigate the extrajudicial executions, killings and reports of enforced disappearances.”

HRW calls on Turkmenistan to end forced disappearance
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has highlighted the case…

Daily World News Digest, 9 August 2018

Nepal: call for stronger war crimes penalties 

The Kathmandu Post reports that Nepal’s National Human Right Commission is calling for more stringent war crimes penalities to be incorporated in the country’s transitional justice bill. The bill currently includes a Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappearances, as well as provisions that deny amnesty for extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, rape and torture, but allow for commutation of jail sentences that would include a fine and three years of community service. 

Mediterranean migration: Spanish rescue 

ABC news reports that a rescue boat carrying 87 African migrants and refugees saved in the Mediterranean has docked at the southern Spanish port of Algeciras. The boat operated by Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms is delivering what it says are mostly Sudanese war refugees it picked up off the Libyan coast on 2 August. Spain allowed the boat to come after other, geographically closer, European Union countries refused to let it dock amid continuing strain among governments about how to respond…