The Hague, 6 March 2018: Regional cooperation and a sustained commitment by governments to move forward with their respective missing persons strategies are key to finding those who are still missing from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), wrote in an article that appeared in Balkan Insight today.
Ms Bomberger stressed that while 28,000 people have been accounted for, 12,000 are still missing, and she commended the progress that is being made to develop and implement multilateral cooperation, highlighting as “a significant step” the Joint Declaration signed in London in June 2018 by heads of government from the region, renewing their commitment to cooperate in the effort to account for those who are still missing.
The Joint Declaration was followed by the signing of a Framework Plan last November, at ICMP headquarters in The Hague, by representatives of Bosnia…
Regional cooperation is the key to finding the wartime missing
Regional cooperation and a sustained commitment by governments to move forward with their respective missing persons strategies are key to finding those who are still missing from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), wrote in an article that appeared in Balkan Insight today. http://bit.ly/2HkyYRd
Malaysia opens new probe into mass graves
Malaysia’s new government has reopened an investigation into mass graves of Rohingya and Bangladeshi trafficking victims discovered in the jungle along the Thai border in 2015, Radio Free Asia reports. In late May 2015, Malaysian police disclosed that they had unearthed 106 sets of human remains from 139 graves at abandoned human-smuggling camps near Wang Kelian. Officials arrested 12 police along with several foreign nationals soon after the discovery. http://bit.ly/2IUlP3C
Sri Lanka: forensic investigation related to largest mass grave
The Hague 5 March 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that former Foreign Minister of El Salvador María Eugenia Brizuela de Ávila and former Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Bert Koenders will join ICMP’s Board of Commissioners.
ICMP Commissioners are actively involved in addressing the global challenge of missing persons and represent ICMP at the highest diplomatic and governmental levels worldwide.
“The Board of Commissioners is delighted to welcome two such distinguished public figures to its ranks,” ICMP Chair Thomas Miller said today. “As ICMP extends its support to countries around the world, it is important that the Board has the capacity to engage effectively at a global level, and I believe that our capacity to do this will be enhanced by the involvement of our…
Migrants missing in Western Mediterranean
Equal Times, a trades union news portal, reports that according to Andalucía’s leading human rights group, Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), 64,120 irregular migrants from Africa arrived in Spain in 2018 – the largest annual number ever. Of the registered irregular 116,295 arrivals on the southern frontier of Europe last year, more than half landed in Spain. Equal Time cites IOM figures showing that 769 people died or went missing en-route from Morocco to southern Spain in 2018, and notes that APDHA puts the death toll even higher at 1,064 people, who died or disappeared at sea – a massive increase on the 249 fatalities in 2017 and 295 in 2016. https://bit.ly/2Ujfm3y
Mexico: government vows to investigate kidnapping
Mexican government officials have apologized to the families of five youths who were kidnapped and killed by police officers in 2016 in the Gulf state of…
The Hague, 5 March 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has made the first human identifications using technology now being developed at ICMP’s laboratory in The Hague. The matches were made possible by the hugely increased analytical power of next-generation DNA technologies, known as Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS).
“The use of MPS, which ICMP is developing in cooperation with academic colleagues and the international technology company QIAGEN, can achieve results in highly challenging cases, where current technologies have failed,” said Dr. Thomas J. Parsons, ICMP Director of Science & Technology, adding that MPS also enables identifications to be made between more distant relatives.
“We are excited to see ICMP successfully identify individuals once counted as lost, using state-of-the-art technologies developed through our longstanding collaboration. This collaboration has resulted in a custom designed next-generation sequencing panel perfectly suited for ICMP’s missing persons applications, and is based on QIAGEN’s GeneReader NGS…
Syria: enforced disappearances in February
The Syrian Network for Human Rights, reports that in February 2019 the Syrian Regime and armed groups perpetrated 347 arbitrary arrests, of which “159 can be defined as enforced disappearances”. It says the regime was responsible for 251 arrests, including cases of women and children, while armed groups made 98 arbitrary arrests, mostly in Aleppo Province. https://bit.ly/2Teo0E0
Yezidi captives still in Al-Baghoz
A Yezidi activist has cited the testimony of a Da’esh source in Al-Baghoz to report that between 250 to 300 Yezidi women and children remain in the town, the last Da’esh stronghold in the Eastern Euphrates, according to Ezidi 24. (Original article in Arabic) https://bit.ly/2Vxl9me
Philippines: citizens fear extrajudicial killings
A new survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS), a non-profit social research institution based in Quezon City, has found that 78 percent of Filipinos are concerned that they, or someone they know, will be a…
Syria: new mass grave found
A mass grave containing the bodies of dozens of people who may be Yezidis who were enslaved by Da’esh has been found in Deir Al Zor province in Syria, Reuters reports. According to sources, many of the bodies found in the Baghouz area were those of women. https://reut.rs/2EF8ckE
Philippines: rights groups call for end to harassment
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) have called for the end of Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on human rights defenders”, Rappler reports. Rights groups say the President’s violent rhetoric “has created a climate in which attacks against human rights defenders are acceptable and perpetrators are never punished”. http://bit.ly/2GR8B6a
Missing persons in Pakistan
Pakistan’s Missing Person Commission says it had resolved 3,659 cases out of 5,853 as of the end of February, the News from Pakistan reports. http://bit.ly/2H7otRf
Algeria: call for end…