Monthly Archives: December 2018

Daily World News Digest, 20 December 2018

Missing Egyptian activist might have been killed

Friends of Mostafa al-Naggar, a prominent human rights activist who served in Egypt’s first elected parliament after the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, say that they fear he may have been killed by border guards while trying to flee the country, Middle East Eye reports. Egyptian officials did not respond to requests this week for comment on speculation that the activist may have been killed.

Hundreds of extrajudicial killings in DRC

Hundreds of human rights violations, especially extrajudicial killings have been documented in the last two years in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Relief Web reports. A UN report says armed groups were responsible for around two-thirds of the violations, while Government security forces – mainly the army and the National Police – accounted for the remainder.

Rakhine State Commission on Human Rights criticized

Human Rights…

Daily World News Digest, 19 December 2018

Indonesia: hundreds of girls have disappeared 

The Associated Press reports that the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers has counted more than 2,600 cases of dead or missing Indonesian migrants since 2014, and the number is still rising. An AP investigation documented at least 61,135 migrants dead or missing worldwide over the same period, a tally that continues to rise.

Sri Lanka: families of disappeared demand action on Mannar mass grave

Families of the missing have demonstrated outside the government office in the northern town of Mannar, Sri Lanka, demanding action to identify victims found in a mass grave in the town, the Tamil Guardian reports. A total of 276 sets of human remains have been found in the grave so far, including at least 21 children.

Bangladesh’s opposition will stop enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings

Opposition leaders in Bangladesh have vowed to end enforced disappearances…

Meeting of ICMP Conference of States Parties

The Hague, 18 December: Representatives of states and organizations that support the work of the International Commission on Missing persons (ICMP) gathered today at ICMP’s headquarters in The Hague for the second meeting of the ICMP Conference of States Parties (CSP). The first CSP meeting was held in October 2015, just under a year after ICMP became a treaty-based intergovernmental organization.

At today’s meeting, Chile assumed the presidency of the CSP, taking over from the United Kingdom. The meeting was chaired by Chile’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Maria Teresa Infante. Ambassador Infante opened the meeting by asking colleagues to observe a minute’s silence to commemorate the contribution of the late Wim Kok, to ICMP and to the global effort to account for missing persons. Mr Kok, a former Dutch prime minister, became an ICMP Commissioner in 2002 and was…

Daily World News Digest, 18 December 2018

Mexico: Mothers searching for their loved ones

In the Mexican state of Sinaloa the BBC reports on a group of 30 mothers who are digging for remains of their loved ones, having been tipped off about clandestine graves. Since 2014, the group has found more than 200 bodies, with half of them successfully identified using DNA. More than 37,000 people have been reported missing in Mexico since 2006, according to official government figures.

2018 worst year for violence and abuse against journalists

The Telegraph, citing Reporters Without Borders (RSF), reports that 2018 has been the worst year on record for violence and abuse against journalists, with at least 80 killed in connection with their work, a further 348 imprisoned and 60 held hostage. RSF indicates that more than half of the journalists killed in 2018 were deliberately targeted due to their work. There has been an increase in incidents across…

Daily World News Digest, 17 December 2018

Release of prisoners “a catalyst for human rights change” in Cameroon

Amnesty International says the release of 289 people from detention in Cameroon must presage the end of wrongful detentions in the country. Marie Evelyne Petrus Barry, Amnesty’s West and Central Africa Regional Director said the decision by President Paul Biya to pardon those arrested in connection with unrest in the Anglophone regions “is a welcome step and a catalyst for human rights change.”

South Sudan: UN investigates sexual violence

The UN Commission on Human Rights is investigating human rights violations, including sexual violence, across South Sudan, which has been mired in civil conflict since 2013, UN News reports. The Commission will report its findings to the Human Rights Council in March. More than 65 per cent of women and girls in South Sudan have reportedly experienced sexual violence at least once in their lives.

Nicaragua: government…

Daily World News Digest, 14 December 2018

Brazil: victims of dictatorship still waiting for justice

Human Rights Watch marks the 50th anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Brazil by highlighting the effort to account for victims of the dictatorship, including identifications of human remains found in clandestine graves, carried out with the assistance of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). In 2014, Brazil’s National Truth Commission identified 377 state agents, close to 200 of them still alive, as responsible for hundreds of cases of torture, killings, and enforced disappearances.

Human remains of children found in Sri Lanka mass grave

Investigators in Sri Lanka have found the skeletal remains of 21 children as well as signs of possible torture of the dead in the biggest mass grave in the country’s former civil war zone, Mannar, the Independent newspaper from the UK reports. So far, 276 skeletons have been exhumed, but the excavation, which started in…

Daily World News Digest, 13 December 2018

Pakistan: “There is no room for enforced disappearances in a democracy”

Noting that “there is no room for enforced disappearance in a democracy”, Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari has proposed amendments to a draft law on missing persons, the Tribune newspaper reports. Dr Mazari said a series of meetings with “all stakeholders” including Balochistan leader Akhtar Mengal, is underway.

Syria: Hundreds of bodies found

According to the official Sana news agency, seven mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified bodies have been unearthed near the former Da’esh group stronghold of Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, the BBC reports. There were several women among the dead, and more than 100 bodies have been recovered so far.

Philippines urged to ratify UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances

Philippine’s opposition Senator Leila de Lima says President Rodrigo Duterte must ratify the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in order…

Daily World News Digest, 12 December 2018

Mexico: mass graves documented

The Washington Post has published the work of two journalists who have compiled a comprehensive dossier on enforced disappearance in Mexico, including an interactive map showing the mass-grave sites that have been discovered throughout the country since 2006, a phenomenon associated with the war on drugs

Mali: new law on post-conflict reconciliation criticized

Amnesty International has urged the Malian authorities not to adopt the post-conflict National Understanding Act in its current form. The Act specifies that amnesties will not be given to people convicted of “war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape and other imprescriptible crime,” but does not prevent amnesties for other crimes under international law such as torture and enforced disappearances, Amnesty says.

Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines

The Philippines Commission on Human Rights has warned that President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs will lead to a “killing field” if it continues, Aljazeera

Daily World News Digest, 11 December 2018

Accounting for the Missing Is an Investment in Peace

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, Die Tageszeitung in Berlin has published an op-ed by International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Director-General Kathryne Bomberger focusing on the crucial role of accounting for the missing as part of a future peace settlement in Syria. The article appeared in conjunction with a Profiles of the Missing event organized by ICMP in Berlin on Monday with the support of the European Union. (original article in German)

Enforced disappearances in Balochistan

On Human Rights Day, activists held a series of activities in Europe, the US and Canada to highlight the issue of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, the Business Standard reports.

Kenya: NGOs urge action on enforced disappearances

On Human Rights Day, organizations in Kenya, including the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and Amnesty International-Kenya, highlighted the issue of extra-judicial killings and…

Profiles of the Missing: Call for Coordinated Action To Address Issue of Missing Persons from the Syrian Conflict

The Hague 10 December 2018: Families of missing persons are entitled to solidarity, from governments and others, Her Majesty Queen Noor said today, adding that, as well as solidarity, “they need us to understand the nature of their struggle. We must listen and we must act.”

HM Queen Noor was speaking at a conference on “Syria: Effective Responses” organized at the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin today by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

ICMP’s Syria/MENA Program, launched with EU funding in 2017, is working on a range of activities including collecting personal data from families – a key step toward establishing an effective process that can be expanded after a peace settlement. In Berlin today, ICMP brought representatives of families of the missing, from Syria and elsewhere, together with experts and senior policymakers to examine strategies that families can adopt in order to access their rights to…