Yearly Archives: 2018

Daily World News Digest, 6 February 2018

Nepal: new law on enforced disappearance

Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the government to draft a law criminalizing conflict-era torture and enforced disappearance. Unveiling an 11-point recommendation on Monday, NHRC Chairman Anup Raj Sharma urged the authorities to amend the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act taking into consideration the Supreme Court’s ruling to criminalize torture and disappearance and remove the statute of limitations for registering conflict-era cases. “If the laws are not amended to ensure justice within the country, the conflict-era victims will be forced to seek justice from beyond the borders,” he said.

UNHCHR: Rohingya abuses could spark regional conflict

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, speaking in Jakarta on Monday, has warned that possible acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority could fuel a conflict that spreads beyond the country’s borders. His remarks follow the publication of…

Daily World News Digest, 5 February 2018

More migrants feared drowned off Libyan coast

Ninety migrants are feared drowned after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Most of those who drowned were said to be Pakistani nationals, with Libyans also aboard. So far in 2018, there have been 6,624 irregular maritime arrivals to Europe, compared to 5,983 in the same period of 2017.

Myanmar denies report of new mass graves in Rakhine

The authorities in Myanmar have denied an Associated Press report of mass graves in Rakhine state. The Myanmar government’s Information Committee, part of the office of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said a team had visited the village where AP recently reported that mass graves had been discovered “and found out that it is not true”. The statement said that 19 “terrorists” had been killed when they attacked security forces in the village in late…

Daily World News Digest, 2 February 2018

Pattern of human rights violations in Myanmar

Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said on Thursday that recent reports of attacks against civilians, homes, places of worship and villagers; sexual violence; arbitrary arrests; and torture and enforced disappearances in Myanmar follow a pattern established over generations. “While reports from Rakhine state have rightly provoked international outrage; for many in Myanmar, they have elicited a tragic sense of déjà vu,” she said, adding that the civilian Government is “persisting with repressive practices of the past.”

“Migrants are more profitable than drugs”

More than 80 percent of women brought to Europe from Nigeria are unknowingly “sponsored” by sex traffickers who have paid for their journey, according to the International Organization for Migration. The rest will have paid the smugglers to get them to Europe, but once they get there, will be unlikely to escape the sex-trafficking rings. An…

Daily World News Digest, 1 February 2018

Extra-Judicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh

An article in Just security examines the issue of impunity in Bangladesh. On 23 March 2010, Bangladesh ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, making it the first South Asian State to do so. “Despite its commendable ratification, Bangladesh has failed to adopt legislation incorporating the crimes into domestic law. It has also failed to investigate credible allegations of the involvement of its own State Security Services in close to 1,300 extra-judicial killings, more than 400 enforced disappearances, the arbitrary arrest and detention of several thousand political opponents, and the systematic practice of torturing detainees” the article says.

Sri Lanka PM Wickremesinghe: legislation on disappearances to be implemented

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said on Wednesday that legislation to address the issue of enforced disappearances will soon be enforced. “The government has already got the Enforced Disappearance Bill approved and…

Daily World News Digest, 31 January 2018


Cyprus: accounting for the missing “will promote reconciliation”

The UN Security Council has renewed the six-month mandate for the peacekeeping force in Cyprus, Unficyp, urging all sides to renew their political will and commitment to a settlement under UN auspices and noting that the status quo was unsustainable. The Council called for agreement on and implementation of further steps to build trust between the communities, including the opening up of access to all areas to allow the Committee on Missing Persons to carry out its work “trusting that this process will promote reconciliation between the communities”.

Australia: call for a nationwide missing persons lab

An Australian publication examines the advantages of establishing a nationwide laboratory solely dedicated to missing persons casework. Around 38,000 Australians are reported missing each year, around half of whom are young people. A small percentage are never accounted for. Around 2,000 missing persons cases and…

Daily World News Digest, 30 January 2018

Survivors of capsized refugee boat say traffickers fired at passengers

People traffickers fired automatic weapons at refugees to force them to jump into heavy seas off the coast of Yemen, according to survivors of the incident that killed dozens last week. The boat capsized after the shooting prompted panic. The death toll is currently 30, but is expected to rise. The incident was the latest in a series of capsizings in which hundreds – possibly thousands – have died fleeing to Yemen from Somalia, or from Yemen to other nearby countries deemed safer by refugees.

Spain: dozens of children among 329 migrants rescued at sea

Spanish officials say more than 300 people including newborns have been rescued from a wooden fishing boat northeast of the Libyan town of Misrata and taken to an Italian port. The migrants were from various Sub-Saharan African countries and included 95 women, three of them…

Daily World News Digest, 29 January 2018

ICMP and Italy to identify missing migrants

Italy will adopt a pioneering approach to identifying the thousands of victims of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and along migration routes from Africa and the Middle East, by working with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), which has been for the last 20 years a global reference point for accounting for the missing from conflict and natural disasters. ICMP will provide support through its DNA laboratory system, in the first coordinated attempt to respond to the issue of missing migrants. (Text in Italian)

Mass grave of Da’esh victims found in Kirkuk

Iraqi forces say they have found a new mass grave containing victims of Da’esh in the west of Kirkuk province. According to a security force source, the grave contains the remains of citizens executed during the Da’esh occupation of Hawija, the group’s former stronghold.

HRW urges Bangladesh to investigate fate…

Daily World News Digest, 26 January 2018

Pakistan: “institutions have failed on enforced disappearances’

Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Farhatullah Babar addressing the National Commission for Human Rights said that Parliament, the Supreme Court, the National Commission for Human Rights and other institutions have failed to address the issue of enforced disappearances. According to the Inquiry Commission on Enforced Disappearances, a total of 4,516 cases of alleged enforced disappearances have been recorded till 30 November 2017 since the inception of the commission.

Former leader of the Gambia could face extradition

President Adama Barrow of the Gambia has said the authorities will seek to extradite and prosecute his predecessor Yahya Jammeh, who is living in exile in Equatorial Guinea, if a national inquiry into human rights abuses recommends this. In December, a commission was established to examine state crimes during Jammeh’s 22-year tenure. Human rights groups have documented alleged systematic torture, enforced disappearances and other rights abuses under the…

Daily World News Digest, 25 January 2018

Malaysia: police accused of withholding information in missing persons case

A public inquiry in Malaysia has been told that police failed to provide information to the family of a man who disappeared in November 2016. Amri Che Mat, who ran a charitable organization, was abducted 550m from his home in Kangar in northern Malaysia. Police later found his car. The inquiry is mandated to determine whether the abductions of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri, as well as the disappearance of Joshua and Ruth Hilmy in 2016, are cases of enforced disappearance sanctioned by the state.

China: “enforced disappearances in a very organized way”

At least 120,000 members of China’s Muslim Uighur minority have been confined to political “re-education camps”, according to a report by Radio Free Asia (RFA), a US-backed news group. RFA said it obtained the figure from a security official in Kashgar, in Xinjiang province. Just in the…

Daily World News Digest, 24 January 2018

Colombia: Search Unit awaits funding

The prosecutor in charge of finding tens of thousands of people who went missing in Colombia’s armed conflict is still waiting for the funds that will allow her to begin work. The agreement to establish a Search Unit is part of the peace deal. The Unit is intended to work in conjunction with the transitional justice mechanism and the Truth Commission. Search Unit Director Luz Marina Monzon says she has not yet received the resources to hire investigators.

Bodies of 20 victims executed by Da’esh, found in mass grave in Mosul

A mass grave containing the remains of 20 people executed by Da’esh has been found in al-Houd village, south of Mosul, according to a security source. Thousands of Da’esh militants as well as Iraqi civilians have been killed since the government campaign against Da’esh was launched in October 2016.

Yezidi mass graves in Mosul…