Monthly Archives: October 2018

Daily World News Digest, 31 October 2018

Philippines: city seeks help in identifying thousands of dead

Five years after the catastrophic Yolanda typhoon in the Philippines, the city of Tacloban in Leyte Province is seeking help in identifying thousands of victims, according to ABS CBN News. Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin is reported as saying that the cost of identifying skeletal remains through DNA matching is beyond the resources of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Nigeria: extrajudicial killings

A day after three people were killed in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, police in the city have broken up a demonstration in support of an imprisoned Shi’ite cleric, VOA News reports. The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is demanding the release of its leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been detained since clashes broke out in the northern city of Zaria in 2015. At that time, the military were accused of killing more than 300 IMN supporters and burying them…

Daily World News Digest, 30 October 2018

Raqqa, Syria: exhumation of mass graves

The Daily Star from Lebanon reports that one year after the defeat of Da’esh in Raqqa, bodies are still being counted as they are pulled from mass graves and from the rubble in the city, which was the group’s Syrian headquarters. A recovery team has found more than 2,600 bodies so far this year and many more bodies have been recovered by Raqqa residents working on their own, local sources say.

Indonesia deploys divers, ‘pinger locators’ in hunt for doomed plane’s cockpit recorders

Indonesian divers resumed a search on Tuesday for an airliner that crashed with 189 people on board, as “pinger locators” tried to zero in on the plane’s cockpit recorders and discover the cause of the crash minutes after take-off.

Irish mass grave: forensic challenges

A leading DNA expert has highlighted the challenges of identifying hundreds of human remains that are believed…

Daily World News Digest, 29 October 2018

Sri Lanka: concerns over Rajapaksa appointment

The Guardian reports on concerns expressed by human rights groups over the appointment of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the country’s new prime minister. Rajapaksa’s regime has been accused of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

Pakistan: infrastructure projects and enforced disappearance

Speakers at the 30th Annual Conference of the World Sindhi Congress have raised the issue of construction projects in Pakistan involving mega dams, citing the abduction of activists who oppose these projects, and “unprecedented abuses of human rights which include enforced disappearances”, Yahoo News reports.

Yezidi mothers face heartbreaking choice

Many rescued Yezidi women who gave birth to children while enslaved by Da’esh face a heartbreaking decision when they return to their families, Rudaw Media Network reports, citing cases where families have insisted that children born as a result of these abductions are placed in care, against…

Daily World News Digest, 26 October 2018

Rescuers search for survivors after Jordan floods

Rescuers combed the shores of Jordan’s Dead Sea resort area early on Friday to find survivors after rain storms unleashed flash floods that killed at least 20 people, mostly school children during an outing.

Turkey: mothers of the disappeared

The Economist cover the story of Ikbal Eren, a retired Turkish teacher whose brother has been missing for 38 years. Every Saturday, Ms Eren and the Saturday Mothers, a group she and other relatives of the missing founded in 1995, organize a sit down protest in the middle of Istanbul’s main shopping street. However, last Saturday the square where the Mothers used to gather was sealed off by police barriers.

Reporter returns to Japan after captivity in Syria

After more than three years of captivity in Syria, a Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda returned to Tokyo on Thursday, the Daily Sabah from Turkey reported….

Daily World News Digest, 25 October 2018

South Sudan: enforced disappearances reported

Human Rights Watch has documented attacks on civilians by South Sudanese soldiers near the town of Wau in the northwest of South Sudan. HRW says the attacks have been part of a counterinsurgency operation launched in June and have been accompanied by cases of enforced disappearance.

Myanmar: call for accountability

Marzuki Darusman, the Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for Myanmar, has urged the UN Security Council to ensure accountability in Myanmar, ReliefWeb reports. He said the Mission has found sufficient information to warrant the prosecution of senior officials of the national armed forces, on charges of genocide. Myanmar has rejected the Mission’s report.

Nigerian Army denies extrajudicial killings

The Nigerian Army has denied allegations of extrajudicial killing of nine persons in the town of Aladja in the Delta Region, the Daily Post from Nigeria reports.

USA: more research need on historical mass…

Daily World News Digest, 24 October 2018

Ireland: mass grave to be exhumed

The remains of hundreds of children feared buried in a mass grave found at a children’s home in Tuam in the west of Ireland are to be exhumed as part of a major forensic investigation, the BBC reports. Test results have shown that the remains include premature babies and toddlers up to the age of three, who are believed to have died during the 1950s. Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the remains  will be exhumed, identified and reburied.

UN: enforced disappearances continue in North Korea

UN Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana has said that despite progress on security, peace and prosperity, the human rights situation in North Korea has not changed, Voice of America reports. He said abuses include murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, and knowingly causing prolonged starvation.

Somaliland: “forgotten genocide”

The Middle East & North…

Daily World News Digest, 23 October 2018

Amnesty: Sri Lanka needs to maintain Office on Missing Persons

Amnesty International has commented on an Interim Report issued by Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons (OMP). The report notes that guaranteeing justice regarding the fate of the disappeared “is merely the start of a longer process of healing and accountability”, and it recommends prosecutions in order to break “an enduring climate of impunity”.

Transitional justice in Nepal

The Kathmandu Post reports on efforts in Nepal to draft new legislation on transitional justice. In 2015 the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the law establishing the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CIEDP), but the law has not yet been amended. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the CIEDP were formed in February 2015 with a two-year mandate. The TRC has completed a preliminary investigation into around 2,800 of the 63,000 cases filed, without probing any cases in…

Daily World News Digest, 22 October 2018

Spain: Franco’s victims speak out

The Guardian reports on a national debate over “stolen babies, torture, mass graves,” which it says is the legacy of the “Pact of Silence” that accompanied the transition from dictatorship to democracy in Spain. Interviewing survivors of the disappeared it says that “Spain’s historic scandals have been hidden by decades of ‘national amnesia’.”

Wim Kok, former Dutch Prime Minister dies at 80

Wim Kok, the former prime minister of the Netherlands died on Saturday in Amsterdam, the New York Times reports. After he and his cabinet stood down in 2002, Mr. Kok became a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), and worked right up until his death on issues related to accounting for the missing, first in the former Yugoslavia and then throughout the world.

Mosul: “hundreds of bodies recovered in 2018”

From the beginning of 2018 until mid of October, more…

ICMP Commissioner Wim Kok 1938-2018


The Hague, 21 October 2018 – ICMP Chair Thomas Miller today described the late Wim Kok as an individual whose leadership, advocacy and political stamina helped to place the issue of missing persons at the center of global policy. Mr Kok, who died on Saturday at the age of 80, had been a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) since 2002.

“Wim Kok was methodical and conscientious,” Ambassador Miller said. “He was not someone who wore his emotions on his sleeve, nor was he given to theoretical flights of fancy – he focused his prodigious energies on practical issues and it was this that enabled him to make such a significant contribution to ICMP’s ability to resolve missing persons cases around the world.”

Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said Wim Kok had…

Daily World News Digest, 19 October 2018

UN warns against “new practice of extraterritorial abduction”

The Daily Star newspaper from Bangladesh reports on an address to the UN General Assembly by Bernard Duhaime, Chair of the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, in which he warns of “a new and very worrying practice of extraterritorial abductions by states”. The Working Group will submit an in-depth study to the UN Human Rights Council on the practical implementation of the obligation to investigate enforced disappearances.

Myanmar: disappeared villages in Rakhine state

More than a year after a massacre in the village of Inn Din in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine province, “there were no specific signs of the outburst of sudden, gruesome violence that killed 10 Rohingya Muslims, and no trace of the mass grave in which they were buried,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

Remains recovered from Sri Lanka’s largest mass grave will be taken to the USA