Monthly Archives: November 2018

Daily World News Digest, 8 November 2018

Identifying the missing in South Africa

An extraordinarily large number of unidentified bodies passes through South Africa’s mortuaries, and forensic scientists battle to identify them, Bloomberg Reports. Data from 11 mortuaries in Gauteng, the most populous of South Africa’s nine provinces, underscores the size of the challenge: an average of 5 percent of cases remained unidentified last year, or about 901 people.

Iraq: Still about a million missing persons

Bert Segier from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) spoke to Dutch national radio NPO on Wednesday about the challenge of missing persons in Iraq and ICMP’s work in the country, commenting on the recent report of the UN on the more than 200 discovered mass graves from ISIS.

Mosul: new mass grave found

The Iraqi military have found a mass grave in west Mosul, containing remains of 30 victims killed by Da’esh, Iraqi News reports. A military spokesperson…

Daily World News Digest, 7 November 2018

Balkan nations to cooperate on identifying missing persons

Representatives from the authorities responsible for finding missing persons in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro signed a Framework Plan on Tuesday laying out how they will work together in identifying thousands of people still missing as a result of the conflicts, the Washington Post reports. The Plan provides for better information sharing and for joint exhumations. The Hague-based International Commission on Missing Persons will assist in DNA testing, manage the exchange of data and maintain a regional database.

Joint Framework Plan on Missing Persons signed in The Hague

Representatives of the institutions responsible for accounting for missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo have signed a Framework Plan at the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons in The Hague, committing themselves to work together to find and identify the remaining 12,000 missing persons…

ICMP and Partners Launch Regional Framework Plan To Address Remaining Missing Persons Cases From the Conflicts of the 1990s in the Former Yugoslavia

The Hague, 6 November: At the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague today, the representatives of the authorities that are responsible for accounting for missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia signed a Framework Plan that lays out steps to boost their cooperation and increase their effectiveness in accounting for missing persons throughout the region.

In the last two decades, these institutions have been able to account for more than 70 percent of the 40,000 who were missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. This is a remarkable achievement, but there are still 12,000 people who have not been accounted for. The Framework Plan will enhance regional cooperation and lays out in detail how this will be done. This includes action to resolve the approximately 4,000 “NN” (no name, or unidentified) in mortuaries across the region, procedures for sharing…

Daily World News Digest, 6 November 2018

ICMP and partners launch Framework Plan on missing persons

International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, in an op-ed for Balkan Insight, describes a new Framework Plan that was signed on Tuesday by the authorities in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Kosovo that are responsible for accounting for missing persons. The Plan commits them to work together to find and identify the remaining 12,000 persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990s. It promotes “a credible and transparent process of accounting for the missing, based on facts”.

Syrian officials indicted for enforced disappearances

French prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for three senior Syrian government and intelligence officials on charges of torture, enforced disappearances, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Amnesty International reports, noting that “the international community should follow France’s lead by taking steps, wherever possible, to end impunity in the Syria conflict and hold…

Daily World News Digest, 5 November 2018

Philippines: families of the disappeared demand justice

In the Philippines, families of the disappeared have renewed calls for justice, the Rappler news portal reports. According to data from Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), there are at least 1,996 documented cases of enforced disappearances in the country. Of this number, at least 1,165 are still missing while 244 have been found dead.

Mexico: police officers suspected of involvement in extrajudicial killings

Six municipal police officers are suspected of being responsible for the extrajudicial killings of two people in Orizaba, a town about 250 kilometers outside Mexico City, AFP reports. The report notes that this is not the first time civilians have been attacked by law enforcement agencies in Veracruz state, where organized crime groups are active and there is a significant record of people going missing.

OSCE investigation into human rights abuses in Chechnya

CNN reports on an initiative…

Daily World News Digest, 2 November 2018

Spain addresses post-conflict memorialization

In Spain, a constitutional debate has arisen over the body of former dictator Francisco Franco. PBS reports that the current government wants to relocate Franco’s remains, which lie in the Valley of the Fallen, a Spanish civil war monument near Madrid.

Egypt: Crackdown on Human Rights lawyers

According to Amnesty International, at least 19 human rights lawyers have been arrested in a crackdown on human rights workers in Egypt. The arrests have prompted the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), a prominent human rights organization that provides legal aid and documents enforced disappearances and the expanding use of the death penalty, to suspend its activities.

Illegal detention in Iran

Amnesty International reports that Iranian authorities have arrested hundreds of people in Khuzestan province, southern Iran. Most of those arrested are being held incommunicado, without access to lawyers and their families, in conditions that may amount…

Daily World News Digest, 1 November 2018

New figures on missing migrants

Aljazeera carries an Associated Press report compiling data from international groups, forensic records, missing persons reports, death records, and interviews with migrants and refugees, and finding that at least 56,800 refugees and migrants have died or gone missing since 2014. The AP report notes that little is known about the toll in South America, where migration among Venezuelans has been among the world’s highest, or in Asia, the leading region for migration.

UN experts raise alarm over crimes against journalists

UN human rights experts, ahead of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, have called on states to take firm steps to ensure accountability for violence and attacks against journalists, Relief Web reports. The experts note that governments are conducting surveillance of journalists and undermining digital security as part of “the daily attack on free and independent media”, using human rights…