Monthly Archives: November 2018

Daily World News Digest, 30 November 2018

Amnesty calls for refugees to be allowed to land

Amnesty International has issued a statement urging that twelve refugees and migrants who have been stranded in the Central Mediterranean for almost a week be allowed to dock in Italy or Malta as soon as possible. Amnesty points out that in recent weeks 97 individuals have been rescued and returned to Libya. The 12 have refused to disembark in order to avoid being unlawfully detained and likely tortured.

UN criticizes extrajudicial killings in Libya

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has condemned extrajudicial killings in the Libyan capital, Xinhua Net reports. The mission said in a statement that “UNSMIL continues to receive reports of armed groups carrying out extrajudicial killings in Tripoli,” and affirms that allegations of offenses and personal disputes “should be judged in a court of law, not by gunmen on the streets.”

Colombia: Truth Commission launched

Colombia’s Truth…

Addressing the Issue of Missing Persons in Sri Lanka


 The Hague, 29 November 2018: Four of the seven members of Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons (OMP) visited the headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague this week to learn about ICMP’s programs on legislative and institutional development, civil society engagement, data processing, and DNA-led forensic techniques for human identification.

Commissioners Nimalka Fernando, Mirak Raheem, Kanapathipillai Venthan, and S.K Liyanage were briefed by staff from ICMP’s Civil Society Initiatives, Science & Technology, Database Management & Coordination, and Policy & Cooperation programs.

The delegation explained some of the challenges and strategic objectives of the OMP, which was established in February 2018, after President Maithripala Sirisena approved the appointment of the seven Commissioners of the OMP, a year and a half after the OMP was established by act of parliament.

OMP Commissioners are appointed for three-year terms and the OMP is mandated to address all disappearances arising from…

Daily World News Digest, 29 November 2018

UN: Syria must provide information on thousands of the missing

The head of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria says families are entitled to information about the missing, and the Syrian government must provide this, AP News reports. Commission Head Paulo Pinheiro says the Security-Council must understand “that the issues of detainees and disappeared is not to be dealt (with) after the peace but now.”

Nepal: disappearances from the civil war

More than a decade after the end of the civil war, family members of the missing still haven’t accepted political amnesty for serious crimes such as enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, rape and torture, the Kathmandu Post reports. Activists say the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons failed to deliver truth and justice due to a lack of trust, victim-friendly policies and expertise in the field.

Kashmir: enforced disappearances

“Pakistan has failed to raise issues such as…

Daily World News Digest, 28 November 2018

Hundreds of bodies recovered in Raqqa

After working for more than a month, local teams have been able to recover “516 bodies of presumably ISIL fighters and civilians” from the Panorama mass grave in Raqqa, Syria, believed to be the largest mass grave in the region, containing as many as 1,500 bodies, Al Jazeera English reports. Human rights groups warn that the local teams might not be receiving the support they need; Sara Kayyali from Human Rights Watch said, “The bodies are decomposing at an exponential rate… If they are not preserved in the correct way, significant amount of evidence might be lost.”

Zimbabwe: disappearance of ex-army officer

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have called on the Harare High Court to order a probe into the alleged enforced disappearance of an ex-army officer, Eyewitness News from South Africa reports. The lawyers say the incident bears a resemblance to the enforced…

Daily World News Digest, 27 November 2018

Sicily: identifying deceased migrants

Researchers, police, coroners and an imam in Sicily endeavor to identify refugees and migrants who have died at sea while trying to reach Europe, Al Jazeera reports. Due to the fact that most victims do not carry identification documents, such as passports, the work of coroners is essential as they examine bodies and provide forensic police with information about refugees’ DNA, origin, height, weight and gender.

Syrian: female victims of enforced disappearance

From the beginning of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, until 25 November this year, 27,226 women have been killed by all the parties to the conflict, the Syrian Network for Human Rights reports. According to SNHR, “violence inflicted on Syrian women is unmatched in any other part of the world.” It says 9,906 women are currently missing, either under arrest or forcibly disappeared.

Lebanon: UN rights experts welcome law on enforced disappearances


Daily World News Digest, 26 November 2018

ICMP in Iraq

On 25 November, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger and Chair of the ICMP Commissioners Thomas Miller held a meeting in Baghdad with First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Hassan Karim Al-Kaabi, the Iraqi Parliament’s website reports. Cooperation between ICMP and Iraq was discussed during the meeting. The Deputy Speaker thanked ICMP for its support. Ms Bomberger noted that the number of missing in Iraq is among the highest of any country in the world, and Ambassador Miller said ICMP is ready to assist the Iraqi authorities and expand its operations to help Iraq. (article in Arabic)

More than 3,000 Yezidi still missing

The bodies in 68 mass graves in Sinjar have not yet been exhumed and more than 3,000 Yezidi are still missing, Archy News Nety reports. The UN estimates that between 2,000 and 5,500 Yezidi were killed by Da’esh after it took control of the area…

Daily World News Digest, 23 November 2018

Mumbai: more than 2,000 women reported missing since 2013

Since 2013, 5,056 women below the age of 18 have been reported missing or kidnapped in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the Manorama news portal reports. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said 4,758 of these women had been found. A total of 21,652 women above the age of 18 were reported missing in the same period, of whom 19,686 were found.

Ethiopia: mass grave with 200 protesters

Bloomberg reports that 200 human remains found in a mass grave in Ethiopia are said to belong to protestors against the former administration in the region where the grave was found. Police on Thursday identified five suspects including the former regional president Abdi Mohamoud Omar.

Philippines: families of massacre victims seek justice

Nine years after the killing of 58 people in the “Ampatuan massacre”, families of the victims still wait for judgment on members…

Daily World News Digest, 22 November 2018

Largest mass grave found in Sri Lanka

A mass grave found earlier this year in Mannar, in the north of Sri Lanka, is the country’s largest ever excavated, with more than 230 skeletons, the BBC reports. The Sri Lankan government earlier this year established an Office of the Missing Persons to investigate disappearances. Human rights groups say at least 20,000 people disappeared during Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which ended in 2009.

UN: enforced disappearances continuing in Burundi

UN Special Envoy Michel Kafando has told the Security Council that “violations of human rights and other abuses, such as arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and other acts of intimidation, persist, as do hate speech, especially against opposition actors” are a continuing occurrence in Burundi, UN News reports

Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines

The Commission on Human Rights in the Calabarzon region in southern Luzon, the Philippines, has investigated at least…

Daily World News Digest, 21 November 2018

Egypt: enforced disappearance of children

Amnesty International has accused authorities in Egypt of committing “shocking violations” against children. Amnesty’s North Africa Campaigns Director Najia Bounaim said “Egyptian authorities have subjected children to horrific violations including torture, prolonged solitary confinement and enforced disappearance for periods of up to sev­­en months”.

Enforced disappearance in Bangladesh

The Star newspaper from Bangladesh reports that at least 437 people fell victim to extrajudicial killings by law enforcement agencies and 26 others were forcibly disappeared across the country in the last 10 months, according to a report by the rights group Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) on the activities of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It said 276 victims were killed in a nationwide anti-drug operation from 15 May to 31 October.

Spate of abductions in Cameroon

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has highlighted worsening violence as a result of clashes between security forces…

Daily World News Digest, 20 November 2018

Sri Lanka: authorities “must not disrupt investigations” into disappearances

Responding to the transfer of a key police officer responsible for high-profile human rights cases, Amnesty International has urged the authorities in Sri Lanka not to impede ongoing criminal investigations, including investigations into attacks against journalists and disappearances.

Japan: reparations to Korean former “comfort women” under scrutiny

In a report on Japan’s implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, has expressed concern over a lack of reparations paid to Korean women, who were forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels, The Japan Times reports.

Nairobi: ICC takes suspect into custody in CAR investigation

Human Rights Watch notes that as the International Criminal Court (ICC) takes its first suspect into custody in its investigation of serious crimes committed in the Central African Republic since 2012, the ICC “has a…