Yearly Archives: 2018

Daily World News Digest, 10 December 2018

Nuevo Leon: CADHAC project supported by ICMP

The Director of Citizens in Support of Human Rights (CADHAC), Consuelo Morales, has announced the launch of a new initiative to account for missing persons in the state of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico, Posta news portal from Latin America reports. The initiative, which is being supported by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), will build on work that has been done by ICMP and CADHAC together since 2014 to document missing persons cases.

More than 500 bodies exhumed in Syria

More than 500 human remains have been exhumed at a mass grave believed to contain the bodies of civilians and Da’esh militants, in Raqqa, Syria, VOA News reports. Local experts said about 1,500 more bodies were thought to have been buried at the Panorama mass grave, named after a nearby roundabout. Rights groups are calling for the preservation of bodies and…

Daily World News Digest, 7 December 2018

Mexico: families of the missing search for mass graves

CBS News reports on the efforts of families of the missing who are members of an organization called Colectivo Familias Unidas por Nayarit (Collective of Families United for Nayarit), a civil society organization working in the state of Nayarit on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The article notes that the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero “caused a surge in search collectives across the country,” with families taking the initiative to account for missing relatives in the absence of greater coordination at state and national level.

MSF ship Aquarius ends migrant rescue in Mediterranean

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says it has been forced to end migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean carried out by the vessel Aquarius, the BBC reports. MSF blamed “sustained attacks on search and rescue by European states”. The Aquarius began operations in 2015 and came…

Daily World News Digest, 6 December 2018

Egypt: suspects listed in case of murdered Italian student

The lawyer for the family of Giulio Regeni, the Italian doctoral student murdered in Egypt in 2016, says she has a list of 20 additional suspects, The Guardian reports. Regeni disappeared on 25 January 2016, and his body was found on an outlying Cairo desert road on 4 February that year. Earlier this week Roman prosecutors formally placed under investigation five members of Egypt’s National Security Agency. They were the first Egyptians to be named by the Italians in connection with the case after almost three years.

Philippines: Only 76 deaths investigated related to drug war

From July 2016 to August 2018, the Philippines Department of Justice investigated only 76 murder cases nationwide related to the drug war, excluding numbers from Manila, Quezon City, and Taguig, where statistics are still being compiled, the the Rappler news portal reports, noting that this has…

Daily World News Digest, 5 December 2018

Accounting for the missing in the Western Balkans from Bosnia and Herzegovina reports on the first meeting of the Missing Persons Group that will promote the effort to account for those who are still missing in the Western Balkans, in line with the Framework Plan that was signed in November in The Hague under the auspices of the International Commission on Missing Persons. (original article in BCS)

Mexico: new probe into disappearance of students

Mexico’s new President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has formed a new truth commission to investigate the disappearance of 43 students, at the same time promising an end to impunity, Al Jazeera reports. The students disappeared in the town of Iguala while on their way to a protest in September 2014.

UN team to begin Da’esh investigation in Iraq

A UN team authorized over a year ago to investigate the massacre of the Yezidi minority and…

Accounting for the Missing in the Western Balkans Continues with the Support of the United Kingdom

Sarajevo 4 December 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has convened the first meeting of the Missing Persons Group (MPG), in Herceg Novi, Montenegro. The MPG will supervise operations under the Framework Plan signed in November in The Hague by the representatives of the domestic institutions responsible for missing persons issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

At the two-day meeting, which ended today, the MPG clearly defined the next steps to resolve as many as possible of the estimated 12,000 missing persons cases that are still outstanding. This includes action to resolve “NN” (no name, or unidentified) cases in mortuaries across the region through targeted pilot projects; procedures for sharing data on the missing and potential locations of clandestine gravesites among the members of the MPG; and joint participation at excavations of mutual interest.

Matthew Holliday, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, commended the…

Daily World News Digest, 4 December 2018

ICMP identifies missing persons from the Brazilian dictatorship

In September 2018, the Perus Working Group (PWG), which was established in 2014 to identify bodies interred in a clandestine mass grave in Sao Paulo, Brazil, sent a second shipment of samples of human remains from a common grave in the Perus cemetery for identification to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the BBC reports. The result of the first wave were announced in February of this year. Another shipment is scheduled for the second half of December, totaling more than 500 samples. (original article in Portuguese)

Transitional justice in Nepal

Although the terms of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) expire on 9 February, the government of Nepal has not yet decided on whether to extend their respective terms or to restructure them, The Kathmandu Post reports. The…

Daily World News Digest, 3 December 2018

Rome urges Cairo to act on disappearance of Italian student

The Italian Foreign Ministry has warned Egypt that Italy will “consider escalation” unless judicial proceedings against a list of Egyptian security officials suspected of involvement in the 2016 torture and murder of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni take place before the end of this year, an Egyptian official has told the Mada Masr news portal in Egypt. Regeni, a PhD candidate who was researching independent trade unions in Egypt, disappeared from a metro station on January 25, 2016. His body was found several days later, bearing marks of severe torture, on the side of a highway on the outskirts of the city.

Pakistan: missing persons strategy

Dawn newspaper reports that Pakistan’s prime minister, army chief and judiciary are exploring ways of addressing the issue of missing persons, according to President Arif Alvi. The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances says…

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…