Yearly Archives: 2019

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….

Daily World News Digest, 10 May 2019

Missing and disappeared Indigenous women

Public Radio International carries an in-depth report on the issue of missing Indigenous women in North America. It notes that Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is exploring ways of collecting data, as data collection does not currently take into account cultural or racial identity and gender diversity.

Thailand: fears of enforced disappearance of activists

Human Rights Watch has called on the authorities in Thailand immediately to disclose the whereabouts of three activists who were reportedly extradited from Hanoi to Bangkok. Thai authorities have not acknowledged their arrest and detention, raising concerns that they have become victims of enforced disappearance.

Mexico: Mothers march for the disappeared

Thousands of mothers and families of the disappeared across Mexico are demonstrating on the occasion on Mother’s Day to demand action from the authorities to locate their missing loved ones and to support truth…

Daily World News Digest, 9 May 2019

Libya: enforced disappearances in Tripoli conflict

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has issued a statement expressing concern “about increased cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, abduction, kidnapping and disappearance in Libya, inflicted upon officials, activists and journalists”. Among other causes, it cites the recent upsurge of fighting around Tripoli.

Cyprus President appeals for information on missing persons

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has appealed for information on missing persons whose place of rest may be located within areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, stressing that such information can be given to him personally and under condition of anonymity, and he has expressed the hope that the Turkish Cypriot side will have the same constructive position. President Anastasiades was speaking during the appointment ceremony of the new Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons Leonidas Pantelides, In-Cyprus reports.

Mexico: Coahuila Congress approves missing persons…

Daily World News Digest, 8 May 2019

Albania: missing persons from Communist era

Agence France Presse reports on Albania’s efforts to account for victims of the Communist regime from 1945 to 1991. It is believed that more than 5,000 persons have executed during the period. The fate and final whereabouts of many remain unknown. The process is now under way following the launch in November of a project with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Mexico: missing persons data no longer active

The SIPSE news corporation from the southern states of Mexico has published an article reporting that statistics on missing persons appear to have been removed from the website of the National Registry of Data on Missing Persons (RNPED). While the website states that 40,000 people are missing, the details behind this figure are no longer on the website (Original article in Spanish).

Reuters journalists freed in Myanmar

Two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw…

Ambassador Dirk Brengelmann Joins ICMP Board of Commissioners

The Hague, 7 May 2019: Germany’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Dirk Brengelmann, has accepted an invitation to become a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Ambassador Brengelmann will take up his position forthwith and will participate at the annual meeting of the Board of Commissioners at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague in mid-June.

“I am very honored by and accept the invitation of ICMP to participate in their work as Commissioner.

I have had a chance to observe ICMP activitie‎s for quite some time now and I am impressed by their engagement and commitment. I am looking forward to cooperating with my fellow Commissioners in this important endeavor,” Ambassador Brengelmann said.

“We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Brengelmann,” the Chair of ICMP’s Board of Commissioners, Thomas Miller, said today. “ICMP has worked with the German Government on a number of programs around the world and engages on a range…

Daily World News Digest, 7 May 2019

Mexico: mothers use drones to locate mass graves

Mothers of missing persons have created a group called the Colectivo Solecito to find their missing loves ones in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. The Verge reports on the group’s use of drones to locate possible mass graves. It notes that drones can cover more ground and indicate if mass graves are on land controlled by criminal organizations

US: non-profit group searches for missing migrants

The non-profit group, Aguilas del Desierto, organizes monthly searches to look for missing migrants who try to cross the southern deserts of the United States. The Tucson Sentinel reports that the human remains of 127 missing migrant were found in the Arizona desert in 2018.

Cameroon: enforced disappearances

Human Rights Watch says the authorities in Cameroon have been involved in 26 cases of incommunicado detention and enforced disappearance since January 2018. “The total numbers are likely much…