Monthly Archives: October 2019

Daily World News Digest 23 October 2019

Caribbean: missing migrants 

Newsday from Trinidad & Tobago reports on a deadly migration route six months after tens of migrants from Venezuela were lost off the coast of Trinidad. “To date, no trace has been found of 59 of the 70 travelers trying to reach the coast of Trinidad, fleeing the crisis in their homeland. Relatives and friends of the victims have been left in suspense since the first boat, the Jhonnalys José, was shipwrecked . . .  Three weeks later, the second, the Ana Maria, disappeared in the same area. 

Mexico: filmmaker documents enforced disappearances  

Mexico News Daily reports on a documentary Soles Negros (Dark Suns) by Canadian filmmaker Julien Elie, which focuses on victims of violence, including the enforced disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero, in 2014“Impunity is…

Daily World News Digest 22 October 2019

Croatia: Remains of 13 Croatian Serbs identified in Zagreb

N1 reports that the human remains of 13 Serbs killed in the 1991-95 war have been identified at the forensic department of the Zagreb University School of Medicine. The news was communicated by the Missing Persons Commission of the Serbian Government. The remains of more than 1,400 Croatian Serbs killed during the war have already been identified following exhumation from mass graves and DNA testing.

India: Automated Facial Recognition System

In November, Indian authorities will announce the winner of a bid to install a National Automated Facial Recognition System, the Economic Times reports. It says the benefits of the system are “identifying criminals, missing children/persons, unidentified dead bodies”, but notes that there is no legal framework to regulate the storage of personal data.

Bangladesh: extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances

At a session of the Bangladesh-EU joint commission in Dhaka, the EU…

Daily World News Digest 21 October 2019

Spain: former dictator’s body to be exhumed

CNN reports that the remains of the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, will be exhumed and relocated to a new resting place this week. Franco was buried in a grand mausoleum northwest of Madrid soon after his death in 1975. The monument, which was partially built by political prisoners, is the site of a mass grave of Spanish Civil War victims. In September, Spain’s Supreme Court ruled that the dictator could be exhumed from the mausoleum.

Spain: thousands of missing persons cases

Spain has a growing missing persons issue, according to El Confidencial newspaper, which cites a recent government report that there are 12,300 unresolved cases, with 7,183 new cases already reported in 2019. Cases are unresolved, according to one expert, because of “an absence of professionalization and coordination among agencies” (Original article in Spanish).

Bosnia and Herzegovina: authorities urged to focus on those…

ICMP Assists Authorities With Reference Sample Collection in Northern Iraq

Baghdad, 19 October 2019: The Mass Graves Directorate (MGD) of the Martyrs’ Foundation, the Medico-Legal Directorate (MLD) of the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs (MoMAA) of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, with the help of the International Commission on Mission Persons (ICMP), have launched a campaign to collect genetic reference samples from families of the missing in Northern Iraq.

The collection of samples, which will take place in the Qadiya IDP camp in Duhok Governorate, began today, and during the campaign, the Iraqi institutions will be supported by staff from ICMP’s Data Coordination and Civil Society Initiatives department.

Reference sample collection is an essential component in the current process of identifying human remains that have been exhumed from mass graves in the village of Kocho, in Sinjar. This exercise will also serve as a model for future excavations.

The campaign was launched at a seminar…

Daily World News Digest 18 October 2019

Syria: new mass grave found in Raqqa

A team of first responders has discovered 18 bodies in a mass grave in Naim Square in Raqqa, Global News from Canada reports. This is the 18th mass grave found in the city. When human remains are found, they are matched against a missing persons list and when possible returned to families. In the case of no positive identification, they are stored for potential DNA testing when the local team acquires the right equipment and training.

India: authorities working on facial recognition to find missing children

India is working on “an ambitious plan to construct the world’s largest facial recognition system”, which could help to locate thousands of missing children, CNN reports. With more than 300,000 missing children in India, the project “envisions a future in which police from across the country’s 29 states and seven union territories would have access to a…

Daily World News Digest 17 October 2019

Malaysia: task force on enforced disappearance

Malaysian Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says the government is awaiting the findings of a special task force announced in June to investigate the enforced disappearance of a Christian pastor and an activist, the Malay Mail reports. The seven-member taskforce is chaired by former High Court Judge Datuk Abd Rahim Uda and has been given six months to complete its investigation.

UN: impunity for crimes against human rights defenders must end

The overwhelming majority of human rights violations committed against human rights defenders around the world remain unpunished, according to UN Special Rapporteur Michael Frost. A press release issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights quotes Frost as saying that human rights defenders around the world are subjected to “killings, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary detentions, forced displacement, threats and attacks.”

Liberia: mechanisms to address war crimes


Daily World News Digest 16 October 2019

Nigeria: enforced disappearances

Amnesty International has called for International Criminal Court to open an investigation into human rights abuses in Nigeria, related to the conflict between Boko Haram and the security forces. Both sides have been accused of serious human rights violations including extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

Viet Nam and Cambodia act on missing soldiers

Viet Nam News reports that the Vietnamese Government has given US$523,000 to the Cambodian Government to assist in a joint effort to search, excavate and repatriate the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers who were killed in Cambodia. “The two sides will also encourage people to provide information about martyrs and graves of volunteer soldiers and Vietnamese experts who have died in Cambodia,” Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Lieut Gen Lê Chiêm said.

Mexico City: public discussion on new law on disappearances

The Congress of Mexico City has launched a two-month public discussion with…

[ALBANIAN LANGUAGE] ICMP dhe Institucionet e Kosovës Zhvillojnë më tej bashkëpunimin për të mbështetur procesin e personave të zhdukur


Hagë, 16 tetor: Një delegacion i përfaqësuesve të institucioneve të Kosovës që punojnë për çështjen e personave të zhdukur ka vizituar Selinë e Komisionit Ndërkombëtar për Personat e Zhdukur (ICMP) në Hagë për të diskutuar masat për të përmirësuar procesin e llogaridhënjes të personave të zhdukur nga konflikti i Kosovës.

Takimi rezultoi me katër përfundime kryesore:

  • Institucionet e Kosovës do të përfshijnë Gjurmuesin e Vendvarrimeve të ICMP në faqet e internetit të institucioneve përkatëse për të rritur sigurimin e informacionit për vendndodhjet e varrezave të jashtligjshme në mënyrë anonime, ose të nënshkruar;
  • Delegacioni vlerësoi pozitivisht përfitimet e përdorimit të Sistemit të Menaxhimit të Bazave të Dhënave të Identifikimit (iDMS) bazuar në cloud të ICMP, i cili mbledh, ruan, mbron dhe shkëmben të dhëna për personat e zhdukur në mënyrë të sigurt. Delegacioni ra dakord të merr një vendim për nënshkrimin e një Marrëveshjeje për licencën e përdoruesit fundor në periudhën…

ICMP and Kosovo Institutions Enhance Cooperation to Support Missing Persons Process


The Hague, 16 October: A delegation of representatives of Kosovo institutions that work on the issue of missing persons has visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague to discuss measures to enhance the process of accounting for missing persons from the Kosovo conflict.

The meeting resulted in four major outcomes:

  • Kosovo institutions will include the ICMP’s Site Locator on relevant institutions’ websites in order to increase the provision of information on locations of clandestine gravesites anonymously, or signed;
  • The delegation positively assessed the benefits of using ICMP’s cloud-based, Identification Database Management System (iDMS) which collects, stores, protects and shares data on missing persons securely. The delegation agreed to bring a decision on signing an End User License Agreement in the forthcoming period;
  • The delegation embraced measures for ensuring greater domestic ownership of the process to enhance the sustainability of DNA-based identifications;
  • The delegation…

Daily World News Digest 15 October 2019

Iraq: holding perpetrators accountable for murder and enforced disappearances

In an interview with CBS, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad highlights the suffering of the Yezidi community in Sinjar, Iraq and describes her efforts to bring Da’esh members to justice. As many as 5,000 Yezidis are believed to have been murdered, and 6,000 abducted by Da’esh. Nearly 4,000 are still missing.

Uruguay: Legacy of enforced disappearances

The Institute for Human Rights and the Defense of the People ((INDDHH) in Uruguay has reiterated the need to document crimes committed under the country’s dictatorship, from 1973 to 1985, La Red 21 reports. This follows the recent discovery and identification of the remains of Edurado Bleier, a militant who disappeared in 1975. “We reaffirm our demand to the state to continue looking for other victims of enforced disappearances”, a statement issued by the Institute reads. (Original article in Spanish)

Africa: international…