Monthly Archives: June 2019

Daily Digest, 28 June 2019

ICMP Commissioner Alistair Burt on missing migrants

In an interview with Justice Hub, ICMP Commissioner Alistair Burt has spoken about ICMP’s efforts to help states account for migrants who have gone missing in the Mediterranean. He describes how Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Malta are engaged in a Joint Process to account for missing migrants more effectively.

Philippines war on drugs: casualties

The Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has highlighted the human tragedy that accompanies the 27,000 reported deaths as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs”, Philstar reports. CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said “curbing the Philippines drug problem should not come at the expense of people’s rights and of their lives”.

HRW urges UN to act on abuses in Sudan, Philippines and China

Human Rights Watch has urged the UN to act urgently on abuses in Sudan, Philippines and China. HRW cites the crackdown by…

Daily Digest, 27 June 2019

Pedersen on accounting for the missing in Syria

Reuters reports on the latest efforts by newly-appointed UN Syria envoy Geir Pedersen to forge international consensus on next steps to end the eight-year conflict. In an interview, Pedersen says he has pressed the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition Syrian National Commission on the importance of tackling the issue of people who have been detained or abducted or are missing, and he has appealed to them for “bigger unilateral steps on this”.

Mexico: a mother’s long struggle for truth

La Croix International reports on the efforts of a mother from the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua who has spent the last seven years looking for her son. She comments that the new government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is “much more aware of the magnitude of the problem of the missing,” and adds that “The federal government is listening…

ICMP Supports Iraqi Partners in Third Phase Of Mass Grave Exhumations in Kocho, Sinjar 

Baghdad, 27 June 2019. As part of its continuous support for the authorities in Iraq, a team from the Archeology and Anthropology Department of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is working on the third phase of exhumations of mass graves in the village of Kochoin the Sinjar area of Nineveh Province 

The ICMP team is providing technical expertise and resources to support the Iraqi National Team, which is working with the UN Investigative Team (UNITAD) that is tasked with supporting accountability for crimes committed by Da’esh. 

“ICMP has a unique collection of expertise, which it has developed by working on efforts to account for large numbers of missing persons in many parts of the world,” the Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program, Adi Rizvic, said today. “It is essential that the exhumations in Kocho

Daily Digest, 26 June 2019

Iraq: exhumations in Sinjar

Kurdistan 24 reports on a visit by Dutch Ambassador Matthijs Wolters to the village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq, accompanied by representatives of ICMP and UNITAD. Da’esh massacred and abducted hundreds of Yezidis in Kocho in 2014. The Government of Iraq, UNITAD and ICMP are collecting evidence and exhuming mass graves in the village.

Malaysia: task force to investigate disappearance

The Malaysian authorities are to announce that a special task force will investigate the February 2017 abduction of Raymond Koh, a Christian pastor, and Amri Che Mat in November 2016, The Star Online reports. The task force will have a six-month mandate.

Bangladeshi migrants in Tunisia sent home

The Guardian reports that more than 30 migrants from Bangladesh who were trapped on a merchant ship off Tunisia for three weeks have been sent to their home country against their will, according to relatives. They…

Daily Digest, 25 June 2019

Extrajudicial killings in Philippines

The Philippine National Police has announced that 6,600 persons were killed between July 2016 and May 2019 in the campaign against illegal drugs initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Inquirer reports. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet says her office is following the situation closely due to the extraordinarily high number of deaths and persistent reports of extrajudicial killings.

Eritrea: “unknown number” jailed incommunicado

An article published by Human Rights Watch notes the UN Human Rights Council conclusion that in Eritrea “an unknown number of citizens are jailed incommunicado, without trial or opportunity to appeal and detainees are held in awful conditions that fail to meet basic minimum detention standards, while women and girls continue to risk sexual violence”.

Syria: political activist forcibly disappeared

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reports that security forces in the city of Suwayda in southwestern Syria have…

Daily Digest, 24 June 2019

Iraq: Yezidi women return after exhumations begin

Aljazeera reports that survivors are returning to Sinjar in northern Iraq following the start of a program to exhume human remains of Da’esh victims from mass graves. The fate of more than two thousand women who were kidnapped by Da’esh is still unknown.

Yezidi survivors will be compensated by Iraqi Government

The Iraqi Government says it will provide 1,600 US dollars each to Yezidi survivors who were enslaved by Da’esh, Lalish Duhok reports. The Ministry of Migration and Displacement in Federal Iraq, says this compensation will be disbursed in the next 25 days. (Original article in Arabic).

More identifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Sarajevo Times reports that post-mortem samples from 12 sets of human remains recently exhumed from a mass grave on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo, will be sent for DNA analysis. It says the process has been coordinated and conducted…

Daily Digest, 21 June 2019

Italy: call for action of researcher murdered in Egypt

The Guardian reports that the family of Giulio Regeni, who was murdered in Egypt in 2016, has urged the government to withdraw Italy’s ambassador to Cairo in response to what the family says has been interference in the proper investigation of the case. Regeni’s body was found on an outlying Cairo desert highway in February 2016, eight days after he disappeared while researching trade unions in Egypt. Italy recalled its ambassador once in April 2016 in objection to Egypt’s unwillingness to cooperate with an investigation into the murder.

Nepal: reparations for victims

Reliefweb reports on transitional justice efforts in Nepal, where the UN Human Rights Committee has urged implementation of reparations for those who were victims of human rights violations during the ten-year civil war. The report notes that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation and…

Daily Digest, 20 June 2019

ICMP: accounting for missing migrants

The JURIST legal news portal has published an op-ed by ICMP Commissioner Sanji Monageng in which she writes that the issue of missing migrants, refugees and displaced persons “cuts both internationally and domestically across a swathe of civil, criminal, and humanitarian law” and “has a direct bearing on the difficult relationship between the global South and the global North.” She notes that the appropriate response is to develop “a systemic approach based on the rule of law”.

Iraq: excavations of mass graves in Sinjar

The Lalish Media Network reports that the Iraqi National Team for mass graves is preparing the third phase of excavating graves in Kocho Village in Sinjar. Dr. Zaid Ali Abbass Al-Yousif, the Director of the Medico-Legal Department explained the technical challenges related to collecting DNA samples and asked for more support from the International Commission on Missing Persons and UNITAD….

Daily Digest, 19 June 2019

Malaysia: mass graves of human trafficking victims

The Malaysian Royal Commission of Inquiry into mass graves and human trafficking camps discovered in the north of the country in 2015 has concluded hearings and will issue a report later in the year. Radio Free Asia reports that 139 mass graves and 28 abandoned human trafficking camps were found, with many of the victims believed to be Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

Venezuela: missing migrant figure increases

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that more than 80 Venezuelans have gone missing or died in the Caribbean in the past two months. The disappearances were caused by three shipwrecks in the Caribbean when the migrants were travelling to Trinidad and Tobago, where an estimated 51 to 67 Venezuelan migrants and refugees went missing.

Enforced disappearances in southern Thailand

Human Rights Watch has published an analysis of human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, related…

Daily Digest, 18 June 2019

Syria: 4,550 bodies exhumed from mass graves in the past year

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reports on efforts by the local authorities in the Syrian city of Raqqa to locate and excavate mass graves. It describes the work of a small medical and legal team that accompanies exhumations. It says 4,550 bodies have been exhumed since January 2018, but only 900 have been identified and returned to families.

Mexico: forensic techniques will be “fine-tuned”

The Mexican radio channel, MVS reports that Undersecretary of Human Rights, Migration and Population Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez has told families of the missing that search protocols, exhumations, and identification techniques will be fine-tuned in order to address the missing persons issue more effectively.

Nepal: difficulties in recovering bodies of mountaineers

Channel News Asia reports on the difficulty of recovering the human remains of climbers who have died on Mount Everest. The report says the International Commission on…