Yearly Archives: 2019

Daily World News Digest 4 December 2019

Gambia: crimes of the dictatorship

The Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has heard testimony that former president, Yahya Jammeh, ordered the killing and torture of political opponents, the murder of 56 West African migrants, and “witch hunts” in which hundreds of women were arbitrarily detained, Human Rights Watch reports.

Mexico: relatives of missing persons demand protection

Organizations of families of the disappeared in Mexico are urging the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to do more to protect them as they search actively for their missing loved ones, Pie de Página reports (Original article in Spanish).

France cancels delivery of boats to Libyan coast guard

The French Ministry of Defense has announced that it will not now deliver six semi-rigid speed boats with gun ports to the Libyan coast guard. The announcement comes after several NGOs filed a lawsuit against the action, Info Migrants reports. The NGOs…

Daily World News Digest 3 December 2019

Memorialization in Kosovo

An opinion piece in Balkan Insight examines memorials in Kosovo that its says do not adequately commemorate the tragic events experienced by innocent people and victims of the 1998-99 war. The author argues that documenting events through memorials, oral histories and graveyards is an integral aspect of dealing with the past and sparks potential for healing to begin.

UNHCHR mission to Venezuela

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has announced that it will send a fact-finding mission to Venezuela to investigate extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, among other violations, committed since 2014.

Mexico: Guatemalan Forensic Team to search for the missing

The Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala will participate in the search for missing persons in five states in Mexico where disappearances are prevalent, el Financiero reports. National Search Commissioner Karla Quintana says this is part of a program to address the…

Daily World News Digest 2 December 2019

Nigeria: roundtable on missing persons

A roundtable on the issue of missing persons in northeast of the country has been held in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. There are reports of as many as 22,000 missing persons in the region, according to news portal This Day. Along with calls on the authorities to account for the missing, a recommendation was made to establish a database “covering people who are being incarcerated to match against allegations of persons going missing or being extra-judicially killed.”

Philippines: memorial to victims of extrajudicial killings

Human rights groups and families of the missing have erected a floral memorial in Quezon City in the Philippines ahead of International Human Rights Day on 10 December, the Philstar news portal reports. The organizers are demanding justice and accountability for victims of extrajudicial killings in the “war on drugs” launched and supported by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

Pakistan: arbitrary arrest…

Daily World News Digest 29 November 2019

Missing persons in Nepal

Police in Nepal receive an average of 16 missing persons reports every day, according to the Kathmandu Post. The paper says most cases involve women or children and most are never solved. Since 2014, Nepal has recorded 38,349 cases, with only 9,160 being solved, though the paper notes that in many cases, police are not informed when a missing person reappears, which means there may be a higher number of solutions.

Mexico: mothers call for action on missing migrants

Mothers of missing migrants from Central America will meet today with senior government officials in Mexico, including Under-Secretary for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas, Aristegui Noticias reports. One of the mothers pointed out that migrants “go missing in zones which are violent and controlled by organized crime, making it difficult to access” (original article in Spanish).

Turkey: missing person appears in police custody

AFP reports that Mustafa…

Daily World News Digest 28 November 2019

Washington acts to address issue of missing Native American women

USA Today reports that US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at addressing the issue of missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. A task force will be established, which the Administration says will “engage with tribal communities on the scope of the issue; develop protocols to apply to new and unsolved cases; establish a multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional team to review cold cases; establish greater clarity of roles, authorities and jurisdictions involved in these cases.”

Mediterranean: missing migrants

The Guardian reports that four people have died and 16 are missing after a boat carrying 78 migrants got into difficulties while travelling from Morocco to Spain. A spokeswoman for the Salvamento Marítimo said rescuers had saved 62 people from the water 36 miles north-east of the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla. The International Organization for Migration says 22,970 people have…

Daily World News Digest 27 November 2019

Accounting for the missing in Ukraine

Balkan Insight carries an in-depth story on the effort to account for those who have gone missing as a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Among other things, it notes that an August 2018 law on missing persons, which envisages the creation of a database to coordinate the use of information and provides for support for families of the missing, has not yet been implemented.

Enforced disappearances in Egypt

A new report published by Amnesty International says the authorities in Egypt are using counter-terror legislation to prosecute opponents of the regime. Ot says this has led to “the arbitrary detention of thousands” and resulted in serious violations carried out by the police, including enforced disappearances.

Myanmar: Court martial related to mass graves

Soldiers are being tried by a military court in Myanmar in relation to events connected with at least five mass graves…

International Commission on Missing Persons Enhances Cooperation With International Organization for Migration

The Hague, 26 November 2019:  In Geneva today, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) was officially accredited as an Observer organization at the 110th Session of the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Addressing the IOM Council, ICMP’s Missing Migrants Program Manager Alessandra La Vaccara pointed out that ICMP’s expertise complements and reinforces IOM’s efforts to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. She said the enhanced partnership between the two organizations “will therefore advance the security and wellbeing of persons that we are mandated to help.”

Dr La Vaccara stressed that the issue of disappearances on migratory routes is an important facet of upholding human dignity and the rule of law, and she added that “as non-citizens and without a recognized status, migrants’ human rights are often unprotected and unfulfilled”.

On 8 March 2013, IOM and ICMP concluded a Cooperation Agreement. Since then, the issue of migrants…

Daily World News Digest 26 November 2019

Syria: report highlights enforced disappearance of women

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has issued a report on enforced disappearances of women. It says females have been “directly and deliberately targeted by all parties” in the Syrian conflict, and at least 10,363 females have been detained or forcibly disappeared since March 2011, of whom 8,412 have been victims of Regime forces.

Mexico: more than 70,000 missing migrants

More than 70,000 migrants have been reported as disappeared over the past 15 years on the route through Mexico to the United States, according to the Zócalo news portal, quoting the coordinator of the Mesoamerican Migrants Movement as saying that the issue of missing migrants in Mexico is comparable to the situation in the Mediterranean (original article in Spanish).

Sri Lanka: “not a single case of enforced disappearances prosecuted”

Jacobin magazine reports on a thousand days of protests by Tamil mothers…

Daily World News Digest 25 November 2019

Malaysia: missing activist’s family wait for three years

The Star Online from Malaysia reports on efforts by Norhayati Ariffin to establish the fate of her husband, Amri Che Mat, who disappeared three years ago. In April, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) concluded that law enforcement officials were behind the enforced disappearances of Amri and Pastor Raymond Koh. Last week, Norhayati began civil proceedings against the authorities over their conduct during investigations into her husband’s disappearance.

Egypt: journalists detained

Egyptian security forces have raided the office of the Mada Masr newspaper and arrested members of staff, a day after one of the paper’s editors, Shady Zalat, was taken from his Cairo home and held in an unknown location, the Independent reports. Egyptian rights activists say they have no contact with the detained journalists.

Amnesty raises issue of disappearances in western China

Amnesty International has called on China to respond…

The Netherlands Supports ICMP’s Work to Help Iraq Address Legacy of Largescale Missing Persons

The Hague, 22 November 2019: The Kingdom of The Netherlands has awarded funding to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the amount of 3 million Euro to continue its program to help Iraq create a sustainable process to find missing persons and to secure the rights of surviving families of the missing.

Iraq has a legacy of hundreds of thousands of missing persons from more than four decades of conflict and instability, including large numbers of missing from the regime of Saddam Hussein and Da’esh crimes.

“The goal is to continue to support the efforts of the Iraqi government and others to create a sustainable missing persons process that is based on the rule of law and that secures the rights of all families of the missing in an impartial manner,” the Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program, Rasa Ostrauskaite, said today. She said that, with Dutch help, ICMP will…