Monthly Archives: May 2019

Daily World News Digest, 23 May 2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mass funeral for ‘Koricanske Stijene’ massacre victims to take place in July

Balkan Insight reports that human remains exhumed from the mass graves of the 1992 Koricanske Stijene massacre of more than 200 Bosniak and Croat men will take place in July. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has assisted with the excavations and with DNA matching, enabling the reliable identification of 179 victims so far.

Syria: 670 bodies exhumed from mass graves

Middle East Monitor reports that 670 sets of human remains have been exhumed from a mass grave in the northern city of Raqqa in Syria. The report notes that the exhumations are from the first row of the gravesite and that there are plans to excavate several more rows.

UNITAD submits report on mass graves in Iraq to the UN Security Council

The UN Office in Iraq says UNITAD has reported to the…

Syrian Civil Society Organizations Call for Action on Missing and Disappeared Persons

The Hague, 23 May 2019:  Syrian organizations participating in a roundtable on the issue of missing persons from the conflict in Syria have highlighted the need to harmonize their efforts to advocate for unified policy positions on the issue of missing and disappeared persons from the Syrian conflict and to build cooperation between families of the missing, regardless of communal or national background.

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) organized the three-day conference at its Headquarters in The Hague this week to provide families and civil society organizations (CSOs) with a forum to articulate their needs and discuss effective advocacy to uphold families’ right to truth, justice and reparation. The roundtable examined the issue of Syrians who have been detained inside the country without access to family or legal representation, the need for an independent, impartial and centralized database that will enable a systematic effort to locate and identify…

Daily World News Digest, 22 May 2019

Children of Da’esh members held in secret detention facilities

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday that children whose fathers fought for Da’esh may be being held in unidentified “settlements” and “secret detention facilities” away from their mothers, UN News reports. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that there are close to 29,000 foreign children under the age of 12 from families of militants, of whom 20,000 children are from Iraq, while more than 9,000 are from roughly 60 other countries.

Syria: arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances

Human Rights Watch reports that Syrian intelligence has been involved in committing arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances and harassing civilians in areas that have been taken over by anti-government groups. The report notes that there are 11 cases of arbitrary detentions and disappearances in the areas of Daraa, Eastern Ghouta and southern Damascus. However, local organizations, such as Syrians for Truth and…

Daily World News Digest, 21 May 2019

Egypt: Extrajudicial killings of suspected fighters

The Egyptian Interior Ministry says security forces have killed 12 suspected militants in Cairo, a day after the bombing of a tour bus, Aljazeera reports. Activists have accused Egypt of violating human rights and carrying out extrajudicial executions on the pretext of anti-terrorism activities.

Uruguay: thousands march for the missing

Thousands of people marched in the Uruguay capital, Montevideo, on Monday calling for truth and justice for those who went missing during the 1973-85 military dictatorship, Radio Francia International Español reports. The march has taken placed every year since 1996. Debate over missing persons in Uruguay was heightened this year after a detained former member of the military confessed that he had thrown a body into the river before the coup d’état in 1973 (Original article in Spanish).

Taiwan: nearly 500 migrant workers missing

Asia Times reports that a county in northeastern Taiwan…

Daily World News Digest, 20 May 2019

ICMP helping Kosovo

Balkan Insight reports that ICMP is helping the Kosovo authorities to address the issue of 400 unidentified human remains stored in Pristina mortuary that do not match DNA reference samples from families of the missing. This is believed to be a result of the large number of identifications made using traditional methods, before the introduction of DNA identification. ICMP has issued 2,466 missing persons DNA identification reports for Kosovo.

Vollebaek and ICMP address Norwegian children in Syria

The Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten, reports that ICMP Commissioner and former Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek has written to Prime Minister Erna Solberg regarding ICMP’s ability to assist the Norwegian authorities in identifying 40 Norwegian children in Syria, and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded positively to ICMP’s proposal (Original article in Norwegian).

Iraq: Mass graves from Saddam era

A Kurdistan Regional Government (KGR) delegation has visited mass graves…

Daily World News Digest, 17 May 2019

El Salvador: impunity legislation criticized

The UN expert on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, Fabian Salvioli, has urged the Legislative Assembly in El Salvador not to pass a bill allowing de facto pardons for serious human rights violations and war crimes committed during the internal armed conflict that claimed 75,000 lives between 1980 and 1992. The Political Commission of the Legislative Assembly has been considering draft articles for a proposed National Reconciliation Law since 14 May. A UN statement notes that victims of the armed conflict, their representatives, and wider civil society have not been consulted in the process.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: clandestine graves

Participants at a seminar on locating and excavating clandestine graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina have concluded that the biggest obstacle in the process of accounting for the missing is a lack of credible information about such graves, the Bljesak news…

Daily World News Digest, 16 May 2019

Amnesty calls for justice in El Salvador

Amnesty International has called on lawmakers in El Salvador to reject an initiative that would grant amnesty for crimes committed during the country’s civil war. It says guaranteeing impunity for human rights violations, “far from ensuring the victims’ rights to truth, justice and reparation . . . would be mocking their pain and trampling on their rights”. More than 75,000 people were tortured, extrajudicially executed and forcibly disappeared during the armed conflict between 1980 and 1992 in El Salvador.

Libya: six mass graves discovered

The ANSA news agency cites a report by the Association of doctors of foreign origin in Italy, which says that since the start of clashes in Libya last month, there have been 600 fatalities, including 140 children, 150 women and 25 health professionals. Six mass graves have been discovered and clashes have resulted in 3,500 wounded, including…

Daily World News Digest, 15 May 2019

Mexico: new database on clandestine graves

Mexico has announced the creation of a new database on missing clandestine graves, Agence France Presse reports. Under-Secretary for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas said the database covers graves found over the past 20 years. One study has identified 1,978 clandestine graves containing 2,884 bodies. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says his government wants “to come clean” on the graves that are regularly discovered across the country and the thousands of bodies found in them.

Mexico: 337 bodies found in clandestine graves since December 2018

Mexico News Daily reports that at his press conference on Tuesday, Under-Secretary for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas announced that 222 hidden graves, with 337 bodies have been found at 81 locations since 1 December, when the new government took office. Seventy-six clandestine graves were found in the stage of Veracruz, followed by 35 in Sonora and 23 in Sinaloa.

Daily World News Digest, 14 May 2019

Syria: enforced disappearances

Human Rights Watch reports that members of the UN Security Council have been urged to address arbitrary detentions, kidnapping, torture, and enforced disappearances of tens of thousands of Syrians at the hands of the Syrian government, armed anti-government groups and Da’esh. A statement by rights organizations notes that “Despite the staggering evidence of violations and the continuing devastating impact these practices have had on Syria, very little progress has been made to release arbitrarily-held detainees, provide information on the whereabouts of the disappeared and missing, and hold the actors responsible for these violations accountable.”

Liberians urge President to support war crimes court

Liberian and international groups have called on President George Weah to support a war crimes court to bring justice for atrocities committed during Liberia’s civil wars. According to Human Rights Watch, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which operated between 2006 and 2009, recommended creating a war crimes…

Daily World News Digest, 13 May 2019

Deaths confirmed after boat capsizes

The deaths of 37 Bangladeshis have been confirmed after their vessel capsized off the coast of Tunisia, Asian News Network reports. It says the boat was carrying more than 50 migrants who have not yet been accounted for. The International Organization for Migration has called it the deadliest migrant boat sinking since January. It says as many as 443 migrants have either died or gone missing in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year.

Malta rescues 85 migrants from sinking vessel

A Maltese patrol boat rescued 85 migrants off the coast of Malta late Friday night, Malta’s military said. Deutsche Welle reports that the migrants were rescued from the sinking wooden boat off the Maltese coast.

Mexico: mass graves discovered in Jalisco

United Press International reports that several mass graves have been discovered in three farms in the Mexican state of Jalisco….