Monthly Archives: April 2019

Daily World News Digest, 15 April 2019

Nigeria: 112 Chibok girls still missing after five years

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says the effort to find 112 girls kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok in 2014 will continue. PM News Nigeria reports that 107 of the girls have been rescued.

Iraq unearths mass grave of Kurds killed by Saddam’s regime

Iraqi President Barham Salih and the head of the UN Mission in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis, on Sunday attended the excavation of a mass grave containing dozens of victims near the city of Samawa, Reuters reports. It is believed that victims were among up to 180,000 people who may have been killed during Saddam Hussein’s “Anfal” campaign, which targeted Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s.

Mexico: remains of 39 missing persons found in mass graves in the past week

The Search Warriors of Sonora (Guerreras Buscadoras de Sonora) NGO has assisted in investigating 19 mass graves in the…

ICMP’s Experience & Resources Can Support Mexico In Establishing an Effective Missing Persons Process

The Hague, 15 April 2019: ICMP is working with partners from the state of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico to develop an effective missing persons process that could in future serve as a model for other Mexican states.

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 in a way that builds trust, facilitates information sharing, and sustains an effective effort to account for the missing. ICMP is assisting the Prosecutor’s Office with database technology and Science & Technology expertise.

Nuevo Leon Prosecutor General Gustavo Adolfo Guerrero Gutierrez, CADHAC Executive Director Sister Consuelo Morales, and Bárbara Pérez-Martínez from USAID Mexico, along with colleagues from the prosecutor’s office and CADHAC, have completed an…

Effective Missing Persons Process in Iraq Depends on All Stakeholders Working Together   

Baghdad, 13 April 2019: The Deputy Head of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) program in Iraq, Fawaz Abdulabbas Abdulameer, noted today that ICMP’s experience in different parts of the world shows conclusively that an effective missing persons process depends on families and officials working closely together. 

Families must know their rights, to the truth, to justice and to reparations, and they must be supported when they exercise these rights,” Mr Abdulabbas Abdulameer said, adding that “Government officials who are responsible for accounting for the missing 

ICMP Supports Iraqi National Team In Recovery Operations in Sinjar

Baghdad, 12 April 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is providing technical expertise and resources to support the Iraqi National Team at the mass grave excavation that resumed today in Kocho village near the town of Sinjar in Nineveh Province, northern Iraq.

ICMP forensic experts are working alongside personnel from the Mass Graves Department of the Iraqi Martyrs’ Foundation, the Medico-Legal Directorate of the Ministry of Health, the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs and the United Nations Investigative Team to promote accountability for crimes committed by Da’esh. This effort is being coordinated by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers. This activity was supported by the European Union Foreign Policy Instrument, the US Department of State and Canada.

In addition to field support, ICMP has provided the National Team with training in relation to locating and documenting mass graves. It is also supporting anthropologists from…

Daily World News Digest, 12 April 2019

Syria: another mass grave discovered

A mass grave, believed to contain more than 20 sets of human remains of Da’esh victims, was discovered on Thursday in eastern Syria. The grave was found in the town of Mayadeen, eastern Deir ez-Zor province, according to ABNA 24.

Canada: British Columbia has twice the national rate of missing people

Around 2,500 people have been reported missing in British Columbia in recent decades and have not been recovered. This is more than one third of the roughly 7,000 cases nationwide, The Star reports. British Columbia’s minister of public safety says he does not know what is behind the province’s missing persons problem and is waiting for the final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Recovery of missing persons in Pakistan

The Sindh High Court (SHC) in Karachi, Pakistan, has directed the relevant authorities to take concrete measures…

Daily World News Digest, 11 April 2019

Mass graves in Sri Lanka

The Tamil Guardian reports that more than 100 victims of a disappearance in 1990 may be buried in a mass grave on the islet of Mandativu off the coast of Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka. Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Sritharan informed Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons (OMP) of this in a statement last week. Sritharan noted that hundreds of youths disappeared from the Jaffna area between August and September 1990, as the Sri Lankan military launched an offensive.

Enforced disappearances in Malaysia

The Malay Mail has published an article related to abductions that took place near Kuala Lumpur in 2016 and 2017. The article examines the nature and scale of enforced disappearance around the world and the steps being taken to address this issue.

Zimbabwe: mass graves exhumation approved

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he will facilitate the exhumation and reburial of mass…

Daily World News Digest, 10 April 2019

Ireland: forensic science helps solve historical missing persons cases

New forensic techniques have improved DNA extraction from bones, especially those recovered from water, allowing the Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) laboratory in Dublin to help solve five historical missing persons cases, The news portal reports. FSI has also worked with international colleagues to identify missing Irish citizens whose remains were discovered abroad.

Gambia: mass graves excavation

Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has initiated the excavation of alleged mass graves of soldiers executed during the abortive coup of 11 November 1994. No human remains have been found yet but the TRRC has announced that the excavation will continue, All Africa reports.

Venezuela: 80 members of the Pemon tribe missing due to conflict

Venezuelan National Assembly Deputy Dennis Fernandez stated this week that 80 people of the Pemon tribe have gone missing due to the conflict in Venezuela, Noticiero…

Daily World News Digest, 9 April 2019

Tanzania: journalist’s disappearance still unsolved

More than 500 days after the disappearance of journalist Azory Gwanda in Tanzania, his whereabouts are still unknown, Human Rights Watch reports. According to Gwanda’s wife, Anna Pinoni, he was picked up from his home in November 2017 in a period when he was covering human rights violations in Pwani region, south of Dar es Salaam. The government’s response to Gwanda’s disappearance has been inadequate, HRW says, “raising questions about its true commitment to finding answers”.

Mexico: UN to assist in investigating Ayotzinapa disappearances

Under an agreement signed by Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday, the UNHCHR will collaborate with Mexico’s Presidential Commission for Truth and Access to Justice on the investigation into to the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students in 2014, France 24 reports (original article in Spanish).

Croatia: newspaper campaign to…

Daily World News Digest, 8 April 2019

Guatemala: Proposed amnesty criticized

Activists have warned that a bill ostensibly designed to address prison overcrowding in Guatemala actually amounts to a “back-door amnesty” for those convicted of human rights violations, the Washington Post reports, including those responsible for a 1982 massacre in the village of Pambach, one of the largest cases of enforced disappearance in Latin America.

Iraq: mass graves in Sinjar

Local residents and authorities in the town of Solagh in Sinjar District, Iraq, have discovered seven mass graves that contain tens of victims executed by Da’esh in 2014, KirkukNow reports. It is estimated that all the mass graves contain 75 bodies. The local authorities have asked the Iraqi Government and international organizations to arrange speedy exhumation (Original article in Kurdish).

Mexico: families of the missing highlight limitations of government resources

In a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, concerns raised by civil…

Daily World News Digest, 5 April 2019

ICMP highlights obligations of states in missing persons cases

The HaoTags news portal from Ghana reports on a visit by journalists from West Africa to the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague. In its presentation, ICMP highlighted the right of citizens to an effective investigation, and the obligation of states to carry out such investigations. The article relates this to three missing persons cases in Ghana.

Identifying Rwandan genocide victims

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the Daily Mirror from the UK reports that bodies of victims are still being discovered in Kicukiro district of the capital Kigali. The remains of some 62,000 victims have been exhumed and since there is no DNA system, identification is done via the traditional method of recognizing the artefacts found in mass graves.

Migrant rescue vessel denied safe port by Italy and…