Yearly Archives: 2018

Daily World News Digest, 15 November 2018

Philippines: Extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances spreading again

A Catholic bishop has warned that forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings are spreading again in Metro Manila, the Inquirer newspaper from the Philippines reports. Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David says his diocese has already documented 11 killings in the first 10 days of November. https://bit.ly/2K5X9lJ

Sudan and Egypt: enforced disappearance of activist

Sudan’s national security authorities have confirmed that they have detained exiled activist Mohamed Boshi, who was forcibly disappeared in Egypt in October 2018, Human Rights Watch reports, noting that Egyptian and Sudanese authorities have joined forces in “forcibly disappearing and returning an asylum-seeker to Sudan, in clear violation of international norms and the prohibitions on enforced disappearances, persecution, and torture,” https://bit.ly/2DDB7q5

California: identifying wildfire victims

In order to identify victims of California’s deadliest wildfire, authorities say they are setting up a rapid DNA-analysis system, the Associated Press reports, explaining that portable devices…

Daily World News Digest, 14 November 2018

Syria: excavating mass graves in Raqqa

The Independent has visited the site of the largest mass grave in Raqqa where officials estimate that some 1,500 people were buried with 80 percent being civilians. Human Rights Watch warns that due to the lack of local capacities, basic forensic protocols,are not being followed, and has called for international assistance. https://ind.pn/2B5cVdL

Iran urged to disclose whereabouts of detainees

Amnesty International has called on Iranian authorities immediately to disclose the fate and the whereabouts of hundreds of members of the Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority being held without access to their families or lawyers, following reports that some have been executed in secret. Since 24 September, up to 600 Ahwazi Arabs have been detained incommunicado, in a wave of arrests following a deadly armed attack that took place in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province. https://bit.ly/2T5HNlk

Congo: Arbitrary arrests “still routine”

In a report released this week, the UK-based Freedom…

Daily World News Digest, 13 November 2018

ICMP at Paris Peace Forum

On Monday, at the Paris Peace Forum, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) highlighted the responsibility of states to account for missing persons, La Croix reports. At a panel, discussion, survivors and experts explored different aspects of the global missing persons issue. “States must understand their obligation to search for the truth when people disappear,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said. “And they must investigate the circumstances in which people have disappeared and also those who may have been responsible.” (Article in French). http://bit.ly/2z7dPF9

Justin Trudeau meets Nadia Murad

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad met at the Paris Peace Forum on Sunday, Ezidi24 reports. During their meeting, Murad asked Trudeau for more Canadian involvement in rebuilding Sinjar and psychological rehabilitation for Yezidi Survivors. (Article in Arabic) https://bit.ly/2DD36q5

Ethiopia: “an important step towards accountability”

Ethiopia’s Attorney General announced on Monday that…

Accounting for the Missing Is an Investment in Peace

 The Hague, 12 November 2018: In Paris today, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) launched an international initiative to advance the responsibility of States in accounting for all persons who go missing or have disappeared for involuntary reasons. The initiative highlights the eight principles that are enshrined in the ICMP Declaration on the Role of the State in Addressing the Issue of Persons Missing as a Consequence of Armed Conflict and Human Rights Abuse:

  • States have a responsibility to resolve the fate of missing persons
  • Fundamental human rights are invoked when a person goes missing
  • Investigations must be capable of establishing the facts
  • Effective responses require cooperation between states and with international institutions
  • Meaningful investigations ensure that individuals are not denied protections under the law
  • Establishing cause and manner of death is fundamental in upholding the right to the truth
  • All missing persons investigations are potential criminal investigations…

Daily World News Digest, 12 November 2018

Chile: ex-army chief convicted for extrajudicial killings

A Chilean judge has convicted the country’s former army chief Juan Emilio Cheyre for his role in the extrajudicial killing of 15 people in the early days of Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship, Al Jazeera reports. Cheyre, 71, was sentenced to three years and a day under house arrest for covering up the killings of the infamous “Caravan of Death”. During Pinochet’s 17-year rule, enforced disappearances were common practice. http://bit.ly/2JV6EnL

California: 200 missing in wildfires

The death toll in wildfires sweeping California has risen to 31, with more than 200 people still unaccounted for, the BBC reports. Emergency teams have been sifting through the remains of more than 6,700 homes and businesses burned down in the town of Paradise while an estimated 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to avoid three major blazes in the state. https://bbc.in/2FljXzd

Kenya: action on extrajudicial killings

In…

Daily World News Digest, 9 November 2018

Searching for missing relatives on the American migrant route

Al Jazeera reports on the tens of thousands of migrants and refugees who disappear while travelling north through Mexico to the border with the US. Many Central American migrants simply lose contact with their families along the journey and in most cases, families of the disappeared never find out what happened. http://bit.ly/2PhYeNb

Mass grave containing 200 bodies found in Ethiopia

Along the border between the Oromiya and Somali regions, police in Ethiopia have uncovered a grave containing at least 200 bodies, Reuters reports. The region has been plagued by violence for decades as the government fought Somalia’s separatist rebel group Ogaden National Liberation Front before both sides signed a peace deal last month. https://reut.rs/2RQc8mL

Cameroon: Kidnapped students reunited with their parents

Dozens of students who were freed from kidnappers only to be put under effective “school arrest” by the Cameroonian government have…

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. https://bloom.bg/2yTl9nV

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. https://bit.ly/2D9QAx9

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, 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. https://bloom.bg/2yTl9nV

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. https://bit.ly/2D9QAx9

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. https://wapo.st/2qxqYmc

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…