Monthly Archives: August 2018

Daily World News Digest, 8 August 2018

NGOs protest Malta’s policy on rescuing migrants

NGO vessels “Lifeline”, “Sea-Eye” and “Sea-Watch” staged a demonstration on Tuesday to protest Malta’s policy on rescuing refugees at sea. Malta Today has shared a video of the crews of the vessels swimming with a banner highlighting Article 2.1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: “everyone has the right to life”.

US Condemns Disappearances in Syria

The US State Department has issued a statement on the Syrian regime’s recent notices confirming the deaths of thousands of prisoners, saying this affirms that “the regime has systematically arrested, tortured, and murdered tens of thousands of Syrian civilians in response to their legitimate and nonviolent calls for their freedom, rights, and political reforms.” It says the US “will continue to work with the international community to investigate and shed light on these nefarious activities and work to hold those responsible accountable.”

Daily World News Digest, 7 August 2018

Mediterranean migration fatalities pass 1,500

More than 1,500 refugees and migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean in the first seven months of this year. UNHCR has expressed concern that the rate of fatalities has increased, despite a fall in migration numbers. Around 60,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean in 2018, about half as many as during the same period last year, and a return to pre-2014 levels. However, one in 31 attempting the crossing in June and July died or went missing, compared to one in 49 during 2017.

Mass grave found in Mexico

At least ten bodies have been found in a clandestine mass grave in Guadalajara, Mexico. The remains were found in the courtyard of a house on Monday, reports. The mass grave is the fifth found in the area in the last year, following a series of disappearances associated with cartel violence. (original article…

ICMP Is Helping Partners in Iraq To Take Urgent Steps to Identify the Missing

Erbil, 6 August 2018: It is four years since Da’esh occupied Nineveh Governorate in Iraq and launched a campaign of enforced disappearance, enslavement and summary execution that has left a legacy of mass graves. More than a year has passed since the area, which includes the district of Sinjar and the city of Mosul, was retaken by forces of the Baghdad government amid a high rate of military and civilian casualties. Today, volunteer teams in Mosul are collecting and storing human remains in makeshift conditions, while a systematic process of exhuming mass graves in Sinjar is not yet underway.

Faced with the urgent need to address this issue, local authorities in Nineveh have reached out directly to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). At a meeting on 25 July with the Head of ICMP’s Iraq program, Lena Larsson, the Chair of Nineveh Provincial Council, Bashar Al-Kiki, announced that the…

Daily World News Digest, 6 August 2018

 Argentina: 182 abduction victims identified

The New York Times reports on the efforts of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina to have abduction victims identified using DNA. The group has just announced the 128th identification involving a child who was abducted during the former dictatorship. Authorities under the regime have been convicted of kidnapping more than 500 babies from political prisoners and raising them with surrogate families.

Search for missing following Indonesia earthquake

The Guardian reports on the 7.00 magnitude earthquake that hit Lombok and Bali in Indonesia on Sunday evening. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency is continuing search and rescue efforts as well as evacuations.

Syria: Assad regime keeping over 500,000 captive

The Anadolu Agency has published an interview with a former inmate of the Saydnaya military prison near Damascus, a facility that Amnesty International has termed a “human slaughterhouse”. The report says more than 4,000…

Daily World News Digest, 3 August 2018

Pakistan: Chief Justice urges missing persons reform

Pakistan’s Chief Justice has called for better solutions to the country’s missing persons problem, Dawn Newspaper reports. At a meeting on Thursday, the Chief Justice called for clearer reporting mechanisms and recommended the creation of “a proper forensic database of fingerprints and DNA”. Pakistan’s Commission of Enquiry on Enforced Disappearances currently has 1,828 cases pending.

Families of US Veterans urged to provide DNA

In light of the return of American MIAs from North Korea, Veterans of Foreign Wars is urging families of missing troops from the Korean War and Cold War to provide the Defense Department with DNA reference samples to facilitate the identification process. “Family reference samples on file only account for 91 percent of Korean War missing and 85 percent of Cold War losses,” according to the VFW.

Chechnya LGBT disappearances continue

Means Happy reports on continued attacks and…

Daily World News Digest, 2 August 2018

Enforced disappearances in Pakistan

The Baloch Human Rights Organization and the Human Rights Council of Balochistan have published a report highlighting cases of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings in Pakistan. The report cites “partial details of 485 cases of enforced disappearances during the first half of the year.” It says most of the reported cases belong to four out of the 32 districts of Balochistan.

Iraq: thousands still missing from Yezidi genocide

Four years after Da’esh fighters committed genocide against the Yezidi community, the search for 3,000 missing girls and women, as well as the remains of those killed, is underway. Forbes reports on efforts to commemorate victims in post-Da’esh Syria and the need for a renewed international commitment.

Turkish forces “enable Syrian human rights abuses”

Amnesty International has condemned Turkish forces for “giving Syrian armed groups free reign to commit serious human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions, (and)…

Daily World News Digest, 1 August 2018

ICMP Commissioner Knut Vollebak on the missing in Iraq

Aftenposten in Norway has published a column by ICMP Commissioner and former Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek on the work being done by the International Commission on Missing Persons in Iraq, including helping to develop legislation and institutions, and supporting civil society organizations and families of the disappeared. (Original article in Norwegian)

HRW demands accountability for the disappeared in Syria

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports on the recent development in the Syrian administration where hundreds of families of the disappeared received death notices for their missing loved ones from government detention facilities. HRW calls for government accountability for the abuses and deaths suffered by government detainees, as well as independent investigation into the still-missing bodies of the disappeared

UN Calls on Assad Regime to Protect Civilians

The UN Human Rights Commission on Tuesday called on Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime to…