Yearly Archives: 2019

Daily World News Digest 13 December 2019

Myanmar: “Why have our relatives disappeared?”

The BBC reports on Aung San Suu Kyi’s testimony this week before the International Court for Justice in The Hague. Thousands of Rohingya were killed and more than 700,000 fled to neighboring Bangladesh during the army crackdown in 2017 in Rakhine state. A young woman who said 10 members of her family had been killed by Myanmar’s military, told the BBC, “We have come here with courage to say this: if your forces didn’t do these acts, why would we have left the country and why have our relatives disappeared?”

Pakistan: Disappeared activist

Human Rights Watch has highlighted the disappearance of political activist and human rights defender Idris Khattak, who was abducted a month ago by unidentified armed men in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Khattak is a member of the National Party and a freelance researcher focusing on human rights.

Tanzania: Abuses of…

Daily World News Digest 12 December 2019

Mexico: mothers searching for their children

ABC News reports on a group of mothers in Mexico searching for mass graves in hopes of finding their missing children’s remains. The process of accounting for the missing, the report says, is encountering difficulties including inadequate forensic capacity. More than 200,000 Mexicans have been killed and more than 40,000 have been reported missing since 2006, according to the authorities.

Gambia: investigation into migrant deaths

A Ghanaian parliamentarian, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for the re-opening of investigations into the killing of 44 Ghanaian immigrants in The Gambia in 2005, All Africa reports. Some of those implicated in the killings have acknowledged their role in testimony before The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.

Gambia: Transitional Justice

The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission is exploring Reparations Regulations, All Africa reports. At a conference organized on the outskirts of the capital, Banjul, by International…

Profiles of the Missing from Colombia: Perspectives and Priorities of Families of the Disappeared 

The Hague, 11 December 2019 –  To mark this week’s celebration of International Human Rights Day, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) organized a “Profiles of the Missing” discussion in The Hague today on the effort now underway to address the huge legacy of missing persons in Colombia.  

As many as 120,000 people are missing from five decades of conflict in Colombia, and all sectors of society have been affected. Disappearances have been perpetrated by state actors, paramilitary and guerrilla groups, and organized crime. Today’s “Profiles of the Missing addressed the causes of the conflict, the impact of disappearances on society and the rule of law, and the central role that families of the missing can and must play in implementing key provisions of the 2016 Peace Agreement. 

Fourteen family members of missing persons and representatives of civil…

Daily World News Digest 11 December 2019

Bangladesh: disappearances and extrajudicial killings

Marking International Human Rights Day, a human rights organization in Bangladesh, Odhikar, says it has documented 1,921 extrajudicial killings and 600 enforced disappearances in the country since 2009, Anadolu Agency reports. Activists say the authorities have ignored calls for an independent commission to be set up to investigate disappearances and extrajudicial killings.

Pakistan: call for legislation on enforced disappearances

Civil society activists in Pakistan have used the occasion of International Civil Rights Day to call for legislation that would criminalize enforced disappearance and bring perpetrators to justice, Dawn reports. Activists highlight the fact that 2,206 cases are currently before the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances.

Kenya: extrajudicial killings

The Independent Medical Legal Unit in Kenya has reported that police have executed at least 91 people since the beginning of 2019, according to the Standard Digital news portal. The rights organization is calling for…

Daily World News Digest 10 December 2019

Brazil to continue working on Sao Paulo identifications

The Brazilian government has abandoned plans to transfer 1,049 bones found in 1990 in the Don Bosco Cemetery in Sao Paulo, to Brasilia, Jornal Tijucas reports. The proposed transfer, allegedly to reduce costs, had shocked families of the missing. The government says it will continue working with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to identify the remains (Original article in Portuguese).

International Court of Justice hears Rohingya genocide allegations

The International Court of Justice in The Hague has begun a hearing into allegations of genocide in Myanmar over the military campaign in 2017 against the Rohingya minority, the Associated Press reports. The head of a UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar warned in October that “there is a serious risk of genocide recurring.” It also found that Myanmar should be held responsible in international legal forums for alleged genocide against the Rohingya….

Daily World News Digest 9 December 2019

India: extrajudicial killings and impunity

The shooting of four gang-rape and murder suspects by Indian police has highlighted the scourge of extrajudicial killings in a nation grappling with a notoriously slow judicial process, Aljazeera reports. Human rights campaigners have warned of a deepening culture of impunity as police take the law into their own hands.

India: “encounter killings”

The Wire news portal from India carries an in-depth article on counter-terrorism in the state of Chhattisgarh in central India, where it says, innocent civilians have been victims of “encounter killings” in which police list casualties as insurgents. It says “Extra-judicial killings by state and non-state forces are rampant, and impunity is the norm”, and warns that “Counter-insurgency strategies built on unaccountable use of force are an incorrect prescription.”

New deadly migrant route to the US

The trades union news portal Equal Times reports on migrant fatalities in Darién Gap, a…

Daily World News Digest 6 December 2019

Native American missing persons

The Juneau Empire newspaper from the US sate of Alaska reports that “three separate actions taken by the federal government are putting more muscle into solving cases for missing and murdered indigenous people”. The authorities have proposed a variety of measures, including improved responses to missing persons reports by law enforcement, better coordination among agencies, and the introduction of database technology.

Ukraine shares information with ICC

The Unian Information Agency reports that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has sent a motion to the International Criminal Court regarding the extrajudicial killings of nine Ukrainian soldiers by pro-Russian forces during fighting in the east of the country in 2014 and 2015.

Nigeria: illegal detention

The Punch news portal from Nigeria examines what is says is “a disturbing trend of persons being detained illegally by Nigeria’s secret police”. It says human rights groups have obtained documents showing that…

ICMP Expresses Condolences on the Death of Nedeljko Mitrovic

The Hague, 5 December 2019: On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and the staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Director-General Kathryne Bomberger has expressed her condolences to the Republika Srpska Organization of Imprisoned and Killed Soldiers and Missing Civilians following the death of the long-time President of the organization, Nedeljko Mitrovic, on Thursday.

“Throughout the years, Nedeljko was one of the key partners in the process of accounting for the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Ms. Bomberger said today. “He responded to his personal tragedy with a life-long pursuit of truth and justice for the victims.”

Nedeljko’s son Slaviša went missing on 13 September 1995 and his whereabouts are still unknown.

Daily World News Digest 5 December 2019

Transitional justice in Nepal

Aljazeera reports on the shortcomings of the transitional justice process in Nepal, which, rights groups say, has failed to deliver concrete results 13 years after the end of the country’s 10-year civil war. More than 16,000 people were killed and nearly 1,400 disappeared during the conflict, which ended after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in November 2006.

Libya: call for UN Inquiry

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other groups have sent a letter to the UN Human Rights Council calling for a Commission of Inquiry, or similar mechanism, for Libya, to document human rights violations, including torture and ill-treatment, rape and other acts of sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and detention, forced displacement, enforced disappearances, and unlawful killings, and to end impunity.

Migrant boat sinks off Mauritania

At least 57 people have died after a boat carrying…

ICMP Facilitates Meeting of Domestic Authorities to Enhance Support for Yezidi Families of Missing Persons in Iraq

Erbil, 3 December 2019. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Commission for Investigation and Gathering Evidence (CIGE) held a seminar at the CIGE office in Duhok this week, which included the participation of representatives from both federal Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities: the Mass Graves Directorate of the Martyr’s Foundation, the Medico-Legal Directorate of the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Martyr’s and Anfal Affairs (KRG). The seminar aimed to update Yezidi families about the components of the missing persons process related to crimes committed by IS, including: phases of excavations in Kocho, reference sample collection, and civil society and family engagement with the Yezidi community throughout 2019.

Representatives of the international community including the European Union, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, GIZ, the German Consulate in Erbil attended the seminar in addition to national authorities, providing an opportunity to listen…