Monthly Archives: April 2019

Daily World News Digest, 30 April 2019

Pakistan: 2,181 enforced disappearance cases still pending

Pakistan’s government commission on missing persons says there are 2,181 cases of enforced disappearance that are still pending. Aljazeera reports that “many of the 3,659 cases the commission has disposed of have been traced to . . . a network of internment centers where they may be held without charges indefinitely under a draconian security law.”

Bangladesh: human rights organizations warn of extrajudicial killings

At least two people blew themselves up on Monday after exchanging gunshots with police, Aljazeera reports. Bangladesh authorities have increased vigilance in the wake of the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people. Bangladesh launched a crackdown on armed groups in the wake of a 2016 attack on a cafe in Dhaka that left 22 dead. However, human rights organizations have accused security forces of carrying out extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances.


Daily World News Digest, 29 April 2019

Zimbabwe: victims of 1980s “Gukurahundi” campaign exhumed

Two victims of the 1980s  “Gukurahundi” campaign, in which perceived opponents of the government were targeted, have been exhumed in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North province. The exhumations were conducted with the assistance of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and a team of experts from the Kuthula Trust, VOA News reports.

Iraq: activist raises issue of children born as a result of rape

The Rudaw news agency reports that the Nobel Prize winning activist Nadia Murad has called on the Yezidi community and the international community to address the issue of non-acceptance of children born as a result of rape, in the context of community recovery and the exhumation of victims at mass graves in Sinjar.

Enforced disappearances in Bangladesh

The Daily Star newspaper in Bangladesh reports that more than 500 persons disappeared in the country between January 2009 and December 2018. “Sixty-eight…

Daily World News Digest, 26 April 2019

16 more Yezidi victims found in Sinjar mass grave

Kurdistan 24 reports that bodies of 16 more Yezidi victims were recovered from a mass grave in village of Kojo in Sinjar. 11 mass graves believed to hold hundreds of bodies of Yezidis executed by Da’esh have been found in the village. Since the start of the campaign in March 2019, the teams have exhumed the bodies of 68 victims.

Venezuelan refugees feared drowned en route to Trinidad

More than 30 Venezuelans are missing, feared drowned, after their boat sank attempting to reach Trinidad, the Guardian reports. Nine survivors have been found by the Venezuelan and Trinidadian Coast Guards.

US: Search for possible mass graves from 1921 to begin next month in Oklahoma

Nearly 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre, the city mayor is hoping to give families of the victims some answers, Tulsa’s Channel 8 reported. Work on searching…

Daily World News Digest, 25 April 2019

US: bill to help locate missing persons in Montana passed

According to the Great Falls Tribune, the state of Montana passed a new bill, Hanna’s Act, that will create a specialist position on missing persons in the state’s Department of Justice. The bill was introduced to help give law enforcement better tools to investigate murders and missing persons cases.

Mexico: National Search Commission agrees to initiate regional strategy to find missing persons

The National Search Commission agreed to initiate a regional strategy that focuses on searching for the missing in the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Durango and Nuevo León, Milenio reports. The National Search Commission will work with the Collective Friends and Families of the Missing in Tamaulipas as well as relatives of missing persons from every state. (Original article in Spanish)

Displaced Syrian Families Return from Jordan Camps

SANA reports that a new batch of displaced Syrian…

Daily World News Digest, 24 April 2019

Nadia Murad calls for justice for Yezidi victims

Nobel laureate and former Da’esh captive Nadia Murad, at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the issue of sexual violence in conflict, has called on the international community to bring justice to Yezidis. Five years since thousands of ethnic Yezidi women were enslaved by the terror group in Iraq, not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice, Voice of America reports.

Thailand: government to set up new missing persons plan

The Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIF) will lead the drafting of a master plan to facilitate the location of missing persons in adherence with international standards, Bangkok Post reports. The government has stated that the issue on missing persons is a vital one that must be addressed in a systematic form as disappearances are connected to the country’s national security.

Myanmar: 54 people missing in a…

Daily World News Digest, 23 April 2019

Philippines: 14 missing from earthquake

16 persons have died while 14 people are still missing after an earthquake hit Philippine city of Porac, north of Manila, Reuters reports. The national disaster agency said the Monday earthquake injured 81 people and damaged 29 buildings across Luzon Island.

Death toll from Colombia landslide rises to 28

Rescuers have recovered 28 bodies after landslide in Colombian province of Cauca, Reuters reports. Rescue operations are still underway, according to the country’s disaster relief agency.

Still 1.7 million Iraqis are IDPs

According to the report by International Organization for Migration still 1.7 million of Iraqi IDPs have not returned to their original places, and in many cases, those who did return to their homes still did not start living a normal life, KirkukNow reported. According to the report, 61 percent of the current IDPs are moved to the long term IDPs as they have…

Western Balkans Countries Agree On Next Steps in Missing Persons Process

Zagreb 18 April 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has convened the second meeting of the Missing Persons Group (MPG). The group consists of senior representatives of the institutions responsible for missing persons issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia and has a role in supervising operations under the Framework Plan signed in November 2018 in The Hague.

Matthew Holliday, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, highlighted the fruitful cooperation of all the representatives participating in the meeting. Noting that trust among stakeholders in the region is essential to account for the estimated 12,000 missing persons cases that are still outstanding, he said, “with financial support from the United Kingdom Government we will continue to work with government institutions and with family associations to enhance regional cooperation in order to identify as many as possible of those who are still missing. All the parties…

Daily World News Digest, 18 April 2019

Malaysian government examines flawed mass graves investigation

The Malaysian government has begun an inquiry into the discovery and investigation of 139 mass graves and more than 12 human trafficking camps in the country in 2015. Several human rights groups claimed that one of the camps was destroyed a day after it was discovered, which hindered police investigations, Channel News Asia reports. A panel will examine the allegations that authorities mishandled the investigation.

Mexico: clandestine grave found in Veracruz

According to El Universal, a clandestine grave has been found in a rural property in the center of Veracruz, in eastern Mexico. The paper says the location of 36 possible human remains has been confirmed, and exhumations will begin in the coming days (Original article in Spanish).

Gambia: exhumations undertaken at mass grave from 1994 coup

The Journal du Cameroun reports that a team of forensic experts of the Gambia police,…

Daily World News Digest, 17 April 2019

Mexico: a new approach to accounting for the missing

The Spanish news agency, EFE, carries a report on efforts to account for thousands of missing persons in the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. The state’s attorney general, Gustavo Adolfo Guerrero Gutierrez, says a new initiative will fight “crime with intelligence, not bullets,” thanks to the assistance of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Under a project launched in December last year and supported by USAID, ICMP is working with Citizens in Support of Human Rights (CADHAC), an NGO in Nuevo Leon, to support a process that brings domestic authorities together with families of the missing to build trust, facilitate information sharing, and sustain an effective effort to account for the missing.

Additional Coverage in Spanish:

Rwanda: Genocide victims exhumed from clandestine mass graves

The New Times from Rwanda reports that victims of the 1994…

Daily World News Digest, 16 April 2019

Iraq: exhumation of mass grave in Sinjar

The remains of hundreds of Yezidis executed by Da’esh are believed to have been discovered at a mass grave in Kocho, Sinjar, Rudaw reports. The Iraqi government, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the United Nations are conducting an exhumation of the suspected mass grave sites. So far, 26 bodies have been recovered at the site in Kocho, although 500 victims’ remains are through to be buried there.

More than 3,000 Yezidis still missing

The Kurdistan Regional Government says more than 360,000 Yezidis are still living in displacement camps in the Dohuk Governorate. As many as 3,000 Yezidis are still missing since the liberation of the territory that was controlled by militants, Rudaw reports.

Zimbabwe to excavate mass graves from the 1980s

The President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has promised an open discussion of “Gukurahundi”, the mass killings of those…