Yearly Archives: 2018

Daily World News Digest, 23 January 2018

Mosul “still digging out its dead” six months after ISIS defeat

An estimated 10,000 people were killed in the nine-month battle to recapture Iraq’s second-largest city from Da’esh, according to Mosul’s municipality chief Abdul Sattar al-Habbo. Da’esh made its last stand against US-backed Iraqi troops in Mosul’s Old City. Mosul’s government has received some 9,000 requests from residents regarding missing persons. Most of them were last seen in the Old City and are believed to be buried under the ruins. In the months after Da’esh was defeated, between August and December 2017, the local health department received about 3,000 bodies.

Beijing urged to explain bookseller’s apparent arrest

The Swedish foreign ministry has indicated that “forceful measures have been taken at a high political level” to address the apparent arrest of Gui Minhai by police on Saturday while on a train to Beijing from the eastern city of Ningbo. Gui, a…

Daily World News Digest, 22 January 2018

Nearly 200 dead or missing trying to reach Spain

Europe’s border agency, Frontex, is predicting a further increase in irregular migration to Spain in 2018, after numbers in 2017 more than doubled on the previous year. UN data suggests more than 22,000 people arrived by sea last year, with more than 6,000 arriving by land. Nearly 200 are dead and missing.

Migrants die of thirst trying to reach US from Mexico

United States border patrol agents routinely vandalize containers of water and other supplies left in the Arizona desert for migrants, condemning people to die of thirst in baking temperatures, according to two humanitarian groups. In a report published last week, the Tucson-based groups said the agents committed the alleged sabotage with impunity in an attempt to deter and punish people who illegally cross from Mexico. Volunteers found water gallons vandalized 415 times, on average twice a week, in the…

Daily World News Digest, 19 January 2018

UK MPs highlight ICMP role in addressing Rohingya crisis

In the British Parliament on Thursday, during a debate on the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development’s Report on “Bangladesh and Burma: the Rohingya Crisis”, Birmingham Northfield MP Richard Burden drew attention to the fact that “one of the most tragic things for many Rohingya who have fled Burma is the fact that their relatives have simply disappeared” and noted that the Report recommends that the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) “should get involved in Burma and Bangladesh and use their data-matching techniques to try to identify the remains of those who have disappeared, and . . . to ensure proper accountability for these crimes”. The Chair of the Committee, Liverpool West Derby MP Stephen Twigg, thanked Mr Burden for drawing attention to the recommendation and noted that “it is vital that those questions of justice and accountability…

ICMP Meets with Families of Missing Persons from the Bosnian Conflict to Coordinate Future Activities

Sarajevo, 18 January 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) hosted a meeting in Sarajevo today with families of the missing from Bosnia and Herzegovina to present ICMP’s continuing assistance to BIH and its cooperation with families and government authorities here to locate and identify the estimated 7,000 persons who are still missing from the 1992-95 conflict.

To date over 70 % of the 30,000 persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990’s have been accounted for. Despite consistent efforts of the BiH authorities to locate the remaining missing persons, the number of new sites found has decreased since 2009. ICMP will continue to help the authorities in BIH address the interrelated issues of unidentified remains held in BiH mortuaries and misidentifications that occurred before ICMP introduced DNA testing in 2001. ICMP will maintain Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology activities and will…

Daily World News Digest, 18 January 2018

Armenia recognizes genocide of Yezidis in Iraq

Armenia’s parliament has passed a resolution recognizing the 2014 genocide of Yezidis by Da’esh in Iraq and has called for an international probe into the crimes. There are around 35,000 Yezidis in Armenia, making them the largest minority group in the ex-Soviet state. The world’s biggest Yezidi temple is currently being built in a small Armenian village.

Malaysia: inquiry into disappearances will continue

Malaysia’s human rights commission, Suhakam, has said it will proceed with a public hearing on the disappearances of a Malay Christian pastor, his wife, and a social activist, a day after abruptly halting a separate inquiry into missing pastor Raymond Koh. Suhakam’s hearing on Mr Koh was stopped on Tuesday after police told the commission that the case has become a legal issue for a court to decide, after a suspect was charged in the pastor’s case. Mr Koh was…

Luxembourg maintains its support for ICMP

The Hague, 18 January 2018: Director-General Kathryne Bomberger has expressed ICMP’s appreciation for the assistance it received last month from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, noting that in 2018 ICMP will be able to advance further a range of activities because of Luxembourg’s support.

“Luxembourg was one of ICMP’s important supporters providing ICMP with diplomatic and financial support, including the most recent grant that will help ICMP implement core activities,” Bomberger said.

Luxembourg was a key player in the initiative to establish ICMP as a treaty-based international organization with headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. It is also one of the five original…

Daily World News Digest, 17 January 2018

Mexico’s law on disappearances comes into force

The entry into force this week of a law on enforced disappearances in Mexico could turn the page on this issue, and start a process of uncovering the truth, justice and reparations for thousands of victims, according to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. In a statement, the Working group said it “is especially important to guarantee an effective and immediate search for the thousands of disappeared persons, the main demand of families who want to know the fate or whereabouts of their loved ones.” It said the selection process of officials responsible for implementing the law must be transparent and guarantee the qualification of candidates, and called for victims’ groups and experts from civil society to be included in the process.

Nepal’s Transitional Justice Commission tenure extended

Nepal’s cabinet has extended the tenure of the country’s two transitional justice…

ICMP visits Kirkuk’s Martyrs Directorate

Erbil, 17 January 2018: Last month the director of Kirkuk’ Martyrs Directorate welcomed a delegation from the International commission on Missing persons led by Mrs. Caroline Barker Head of Anthropology and Archaeology Division. Mrs. Barker mentioned the role of ICMP in the field of humanitarian cases in general, and what is related to the missing person’s cases caused by military actions and natural disasters.

From his side, the director explained to the delegation about the role of the Martyrs foundation in field of human rights, insisting on missing person’s rights and their families. He also praised their sacrifices in fighting injustice and tyranny that happened to the Iraqi People since the Ba’ath regime took over power and after the fall of the regime back in 2003 and the destruction of the infrastructure by Terrorist groups. He…

Daily World News Digest, 16 January 2018

Malaysia: enforced disappearance inquiry suspended

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has announced that its inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh will be suspended, following a request by police. Koh, 63, was abducted from his car in daylight on a busy road near Kuala Lumpur by a group of more than 10 men on 13 February 2017. Police have arrested a suspect in the case, which, they say, would affect the inquiry. The inquiry seeks to establish whether the disappearance of Koh and three others were cases of enforced or involuntary disappearance, as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Pakistan: police ordered to register missing persons case

Police in Peshawar in northern Pakistan have registered a missing persons case after a lapse of around five years following the intervention of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances. A police…

Daily World News Digest, 15 January 2018

More disappearances in Mexico’s Guerrero state

Amnesty International has accused police in Chilpancingo, the second-largest city in the state of Guerrero, Mexico of “using chilling tactics that mirror those used by organized crime,” citing the enforced disappearance of five young men at the end of 2017, which it describes as “the latest of a long line of horrors that have befallen Guerrero state.” Amnesty has carried out field research in Chilpancingo that confirmed the disappearance of the five men. In September 2014, 43 students from a teacher training college disappeared in Guerrero state, an incident that prompted demands for government measures to tackle the issue of enforced disappearance in Mexico.

Renewed call to protect Mediterranean migrants

UNHCR has appealed for more resettlement places for refugees after some 160 people were reported dead or missing in three separate incidents in the Mediterranean last week. UNHCR renewed its appeal for safe alternatives…