Yearly Archives: 2019

ICMP Welcomes Two New Commissioners

  

The Hague 5 March 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that former Foreign Minister of El Salvador María Eugenia Brizuela de Ávila and former Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Bert Koenders will join ICMP’s Board of Commissioners.

ICMP Commissioners are actively involved in addressing the global challenge of missing persons and represent ICMP at the highest diplomatic and governmental levels worldwide.

“The Board of Commissioners is delighted to welcome two such distinguished public figures to its ranks,” ICMP Chair Thomas Miller said today. “As ICMP extends its support to countries around the world, it is important that the Board has the capacity to engage effectively at a global level, and I believe that our capacity to do this will be enhanced by the involvement of our…

Daily World News Digest, 5 March 2019

Migrants missing in Western Mediterranean

Equal Times, a trades union news portal, reports that according to Andalucía’s leading human rights group, Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), 64,120 irregular migrants from Africa arrived in Spain in 2018 – the largest annual number ever. Of the registered irregular 116,295 arrivals on the southern frontier of Europe last year, more than half landed in Spain. Equal Time cites IOM figures showing that 769 people died or went missing en-route from Morocco to southern Spain in 2018, and notes that APDHA puts the death toll even higher at 1,064 people, who died or disappeared at sea – a massive increase on the 249 fatalities in 2017 and 295 in 2016. https://bit.ly/2Ujfm3y

Mexico: government vows to investigate kidnapping

Mexican government officials have apologized to the families of five youths who were kidnapped and killed by police officers in 2016 in the Gulf state of…

ICMP Laboratory in The Hague Utilizes New Technology for Human Identification

The Hague, 5 March 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has made the first human identifications using technology now being developed at ICMP’s laboratory in The Hague. The matches were made possible by the hugely increased analytical power of next-generation DNA technologies, known as Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS).

“The use of MPS, which ICMP is developing in cooperation with academic colleagues and the international technology company QIAGEN, can achieve results in highly challenging cases, where current technologies have failed,” said Dr. Thomas J. Parsons, ICMP Director of Science & Technology, adding that MPS also enables identifications to be made between more distant relatives.

“We are excited to see ICMP successfully identify individuals once counted as lost, using state-of-the-art technologies developed through our longstanding collaboration. This collaboration has resulted in a custom designed next-generation sequencing panel perfectly suited for ICMP’s missing persons applications, and is based on QIAGEN’s GeneReader NGS…

Daily World News Digest, 4 March 2019

Syria: enforced disappearances in February

The Syrian Network for Human Rights, reports that in February 2019 the Syrian Regime and armed groups perpetrated 347 arbitrary arrests, of which “159 can be defined as enforced disappearances”. It says the regime was responsible for 251 arrests, including cases of women and children, while armed groups made 98 arbitrary arrests, mostly in Aleppo Province. https://bit.ly/2Teo0E0

Yezidi captives still in Al-Baghoz

A Yezidi activist has cited the testimony of a Da’esh source in Al-Baghoz to report that between 250 to 300 Yezidi women and children remain in the town, the last Da’esh stronghold in the Eastern Euphrates, according to Ezidi 24. (Original article in Arabic) https://bit.ly/2Vxl9me

Philippines: citizens fear extrajudicial killings

A new survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS), a non-profit social research institution based in Quezon City, has found that 78 percent of Filipinos are concerned that they, or someone they know, will be a…

Daily World News Digest, 1 March 2019

Syria: new mass grave found

A mass grave containing the bodies of dozens of people who may be Yezidis who were enslaved by Da’esh has been found in Deir Al Zor province in Syria, Reuters reports. According to sources, many of the bodies found in the Baghouz area were those of women. https://reut.rs/2EF8ckE

Philippines: rights groups call for end to harassment

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) have called for the end of Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on human rights defenders”, Rappler reports. Rights groups say the President’s violent rhetoric “has created a climate in which attacks against human rights defenders are acceptable and perpetrators are never punished”. http://bit.ly/2GR8B6a

Missing persons in Pakistan

Pakistan’s Missing Person Commission says it had resolved 3,659 cases out of 5,853 as of the end of February, the News from Pakistan reports. http://bit.ly/2H7otRf

Algeria: call for end…

Daily World News Digest, 28 February 2019

ICMP laboratory in The Hague delivers BIH identifications using new technology

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has submitted three new DNA match reports to the BIH Missing Persons Institute (MPI) using technology that is now being developed at ICMP’s laboratory in The Hague, FENA reports. The matches – which mean that three previously unidentified sets of human remains have been identified – were made possible by the hugely increased analytical power of next generation DNA technologies, known as Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS). http://bit.ly/2VjEhUS

Drug-related extrajudicial killings worldwide continue

According to a new report from Harm Reduction International (HRI), executions for drug offenses are on the wane worldwide, however anti-drug user violence continues across the globe Filter Magazine reports. Most notably, state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings of people suspected of using or trading drugs continue in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte, and “a similar assault on people associated with drugs is…

ICMP Laboratory in The Hague Delivers BIH Identifications Using New Technology

Sarajevo, 27 February 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has submitted three new DNA match reports to the BIH Missing Persons Institute (MPI) using technology that is now being developed at ICMP’s laboratory in The Hague. The matches – which mean that three previously unidentified sets of human remains have been identified – were made possible by the hugely increased analytical power of next generation DNA technologies, known as Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS).

“ICMP’s use of MPS offers new hope for families who are still waiting to learn the fate of their loved ones,” the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, Matthew Holliday, said today. He said the number of new identifications enabled by MPS will be relatively small at first, but that it nonetheless represents a significant step forward. “The new technology can achieve results in highly challenging cases, where current technologies have failed and it also…

Daily World News Digest, 27 February 2019

Amnesty warns of growing impunity in the Middle East and North Africa

Amnesty International’s annual survey of the human rights situation in the Middle East and North Africa underlines ongoing crackdowns on dissent and civil society in Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia and condemns what it describes as growing impunity across the region, Associated Press reports. http://bit.ly/2SpNKYU

Sri Lanka: government criticized for slow progress on accountability

The Tamil Guardian reports that families of the disappeared from northeast Sri Lanka have held a mass rally in Kilinochchi rejecting the prospect of Sri Lanka being given more time to deliver on its co-sponsored UN Human Rights Council resolution, under which it committed to provide justice and accountability. https://bit.ly/2TizCFh

South Sudan: widespread human rights abuses as conflict rages

The Guardian reports on the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan’s conclusion that routine and continuing abuses there “may amount to serious war crimes”. The…

Daily World News Digest, 26 February 2019

Italy: 10,787 unaccompanied foreign minors

The Italian news agency ANSA reports that, according to UNICEF, a total of 10,787 unaccompanied foreign minors are currently residing in Italy, down from the 18,000 registered at the end of 2017. The decrease was due to a drop in arrivals and to the fact that many teenagers who arrived over the last two years have turned 18, UNICEF says. Overall, 3,536 minors travelled to Italy by sea on their own. http://bit.ly/2SrYuGb

Iraq: new mass grave of Yezidi discovered in Nineveh

Iraqi security forces have discovered a mass grave, containing 23 bodies of Yezidi victims killed by Da’esh militants, in Al-Mahalbiyah Town, on the northwest of Nineveh Province, the Lalish web portal based in Duhok reports. Security forces have started exhumations, and remains will be sent to the Medical Legal Office in Mosul to be examined and later identified. (Original article in Arabic) https://bit.ly/2ICOtq2

Bosnia…

Daily World News Digest, 25 February 2019

Guatemala: amnesty bill criticized

The Washington Post reports on a bill before Guatemala’s Congress that would grant amnesty to perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed during the 36-year civil war. The bill would free more than 30 convicts, mostly former military officers, and invalidate current and future trials for crimes linked to the conflict. https://wapo.st/2BLGL79

UN warns Nicaragua about “criminalization of dissent”

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has expressed concern over “the apparent lack of due process and increasing criminalization of dissent in Nicaragua”, UN News reports. Over the last six months, several hundred people have been arrested and held in pre-trial detention for long periods for their alleged roles during protests that took place last year between April and July. http://bit.ly/2Vlb3Fd

African Union to reject EU plan to process migrants in Africa

The Guardian reports that the African Union will reject an EU proposal designed to stem migration,…