Monthly Archives: August 2019

Daily World News Digest 22 August 2019

Bangladesh: enforced disappearances

In the Diplomat Magazine, Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, highlights the issue of enforced disappearance in Bangladesh, where “Families of the disappeared, are usually turned away with dismissive denials by the state agencies”.

Brazil: extrajudicial killings increase

The Associated Press reports on fatalities attributed to police operations in Rio de Janeiro, a state of 17.2 million people, where 1,075 people were killed in the first seven months of the year, according to official figures. The article notes that the number of police killings has reached the highest level since records began in 2003.

Nigeria: Extrajudicial killings

Four police officers who allegedly shot dead two suspected armed robbers in Ojo, a town near Lagos, have been arrested, according to Pulse from Nigeria. A group called the Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) is campaigning for police reform to ensure that…

Daily World News Digest 21 August 2019

Turkmenistan: enforced disappearances

The international human rights campaign Prove They Are Alive has called on Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to prove that “disappeared” people in Turkmenistan are still alive, Radio Free Europe reports. The human rights campaign says that scores of prisoners jailed during the past two decades have not been seen nor heard from since arrested or going on trial, and that disappearances have been “widespread and systemic”.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: anniversary of massacre

Families of the victims are commemorating the 21st anniversary of the Koricanske stijene massacre, when about 200 unarmed men were executed and thrown into a ravine, the Federalna TV reports. It notes that the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has assisted with the identification of most of the victims. (Original article in B/S/C).

More than a hundred migrants feared dead off Libya

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says a boat packed with migrants…

Daily World News Digest 20 August 2019

Australia: missing and murdered Aboriginal children

The families of 15 missing Aboriginal children are uniting to raise public awareness of Aboriginal deaths in custody, unsolved murders and missing person cases, The Guardian reports. These cases “reflect 15 of innumerable deaths in which the perpetrator remains at large and for which justice has never been secured”, the article notes, adding that police investigations have been severely impacted by “systemic oversights and shortcomings, and indifference by the police”.

Cameroon: detainees tortured

Cameroonian authorities held more than 100 detainees incommunicado and tortured many of them in a detention facility in the capital, Yaoundé, from 23 July to 4 August, Human Rights Watch reports. The whereabouts of the majority was unknown for almost two weeks. “When an individual’s detention is followed either by a refusal to acknowledge the detention or to reveal the person’s fate or whereabouts, this constitutes an enforced disappearance, an egregious…

Daily World News Digest 19 August 2019

Burundi: crackdown on opposition

A Burundian opposition party says 18 of its offices have been destroyed in the past two months, Business Standard reports. Burundi has been in crisis since April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term in office. A UN Commission of Inquiry last year said it believed the government was committing crimes against humanity such as summary executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture and sexual violence.

West Papua: reports of extrajudicial killings

Leaders of Pacific nations have urged the UN to visit the province of West Papua in eastern Indonesia amid reported human rights abuses including torture, extrajudicial killings, and systemic police and military violence, the Guardian reports. Agreement on a visit to West Papua by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights was negotiated more than a year ago, but has never materialized.

Sri Lanka: obstacles in transitional justice

Sri Lanka’s…

Daily World News Digest 16 August 2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina: ICMP donated DNA lab equipment to Federation Police Directorate

Sarajevo Times reports that the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has donated the Federation Police Directorate a comprehensive range of equipment that will help to improve forensic capacity of the police in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, Matthew Holliday, highlighted that one of ICMP’s goals it to strengthen technical forensic capacities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Holliday also pointed out that ICMP will continue to assist authorities in BiH with the state-level, law-based and non-discriminatory process of accounting for the remaining missing persons in the country.

Abducted Politician in Libya Missing 4 Weeks

Human Rights Watch has called on the Interim Government in eastern Libya to exert all possible efforts to ensure safe return of Seham Sergewa, a member of parliament who was abducted from her home in the eastern city of Benghazi on…

Daily World News Digest 15 August 2019

Iraq: search for missing persons with ICMP assistance

Hundreds of thousands of people have gone missing over decades of conflict in Iraq while there are many bodies that exhumations teams are struggling to cope, writes New Statesman. Forensics teams have identified 17 mass graves containing victims of Da’esh around Kocho, some of the 202 across Iraq in territory formerly under the terror group’s control. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), has trained at least 500 Iraqis to help hasten DNA extraction and matching remains with surviving relatives. ICMP representatives accompany the exhumations team to ensure bodies are excavated as carefully as possible.

Families search for Chile’s disappeared prisoners

The Guardian reports that the relatives of the missing in Chile are still searching for their missing persons who were disappeared between 1973 and 1990 in Chile, during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Families are frustrated with the slow process of…

Commemorating the Fifth Anniversary Of the Massacre in Kocho Village, Iraq

Erbil, 15 August 2019: Today is the fifth anniversary of the occupation of Kocho village in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq, when Yezidis were massacred, and large numbers of women and children were abducted and enslaved. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is helping partners in Iraq to to locate, recover and identify victims of the Da’esh massacre, ensuring that evidence is documented in a manner that it is admissible in an international court.

ICMP is working with the Government of Iraq, through Mr Mohammed Tahir Al-Tamimi, Head of the Operations Room for Coordination of Iraqi Authorities’ Efforts in Liberated Areas, assisting the Iraqi National Team – the Mass Graves Directorate of the Martyrs’ Foundation, the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, and the Medico-Legal Directorate in Baghdad. ICMP also maintains an agreement with the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh (UNITAD), to…

ICMP Donates DNA Lab Equipment To Federation Police Directorate

Sarajevo, 15 August: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has donated the Federation Police Directorate with a comprehensive range of equipment that will help to improve forensic capacity of the police in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the ICMP premises today, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program Matthew Holliday presented the Deputy Director of the Police, Ensad Korman with the accompanying documentation for the equipment, which includes a range of precision pipettes, centrifuges, a UV stratalinker, and essential laboratory hardware and furniture.

On this occasion, Ensad Korman thanked ICMP for the donation. “Having in mind financial constraints that we have in our work, this equipment will be new impulse for our work and we will put it to use immediately”.

Matthew Holliday pointed out that one of ICMP’s goals it to strengthen technical forensic capacities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the current donation to the Federation Police Directorate, following similar donations…

Daily World News Digest 14 August 2019

DR Congo: thousands of civilians killed and abducted in last 2 years

According to a New York University-based Congo Research Group and Human Rights Watch report, armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern Kivu provinces have killed 1,900 civilians and abducted more than 3,300 others between June 2017 and June 2019. A joint project of the two organizations, called the Kivu Security Tracker, found more than 3,000 violent incidents by more than 130 armed groups. Team of researchers have documented the most egregious violence – including killings, mass rapes, abductions, and political repression.

Malaysia: Missing UK teen found dead

Malaysian doctors conducted an autopsy Wednesday to determine the cause of death of a 15-year-old London teen whose body was found nine days after she mysteriously disappeared from a nature resort, Associated Press reports. Local media reported that a forensic team went back to the area where the body…

Daily World News Digest 13 August 2019

Accounting for migrants missing in the Mediterranean

The Time Magazine has published an in-depth article on efforts to account for thousands of missing migrants in the Mediterranean. The article examines how ICMP’s Missing Migrants Program can help governments to take effective action. “This is a huge challenge given the global nature of migration,” said ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, adding that the issue can be addressed if there is political will on the part of governments. In 2017, ICMP started the first phase of the project that brought Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus together to sign an agreement and start work on the technicalities of the search for migrants missing in the Mediterranean.

Enforced disappearances in Laos

Human Rights Watch has highlighted enforced disappearances of Lao and Thai nationals in Laos. The Lao government has never disclosed the fate or whereabouts of a prominent civil society leader, Sombath Somphone, who was…