Yearly Archives: 2019

Daily World News Digest, 18 January 2019

Tunisia: migration to Europe in 2018 

The Brookings Institution reports that around 1,600 Tunisians drowned trying to reach Europe in 2018, compared to 1,721 in 2017, noting that officials “repeatedly break their promises to meet with families of the missing. Undeterred, families have formed advocacy groups. They camp out in front of government buildings, doggedly pursuing answers.”  

Mexico: 1,000 migrants in new caravans enter the country 

Reuters reports that around 1,000 Central American migrants have entered southern Mexico in a test of the new government’s pledge to manage migration. Mexico’s National Migration Institute said that 969 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua crossed into Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, just days after new US bound caravans of people set off from Central America.  

Egypt: Extension of detention for speaking about enforced disappearance 

An Egyptian court has extended the detention of a woman accused of spreading “false news” by telling the BBC, in an interview last February, about the enforced disappearance of her…

Daily World News Digest, 17 January 2019

Sri Lanka: more than 300 bodies in Mannar mass grave

The Tamil Guardian reports that the chief investigator at the Mannar mass grave in northern Sri Lanka has confirmed that the number of bodies excavated has now reached 300. The remains of at least 23 children have been identified among the bodies discovered so far.

Kenya: Attack on Nairobi Hotel

Human Rights Watch has warned that the Kenyan authorities’ efforts to tackle rising attacks in the country have been marred by human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and torture. HRW says the Kenyan authorities should take into consideration victims’ needs in its response to the attacks.

Arizona: 127 deceased migrants recovered in 2018

The remains of 127 deceased migrants were recovered in 2018 in southern Arizona, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Pima Country, where most of the human remains were found, AZ Central reports,…

Daily World News Digest, 16 January 2019

Syrian human rights report cites enforced disappearances

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has released an 80-page special report for 2018, which, among other things, cites approximately 7,706 cases of arbitrary arrest during the year, including 504 children and 699 women. The report calls on the UN Security Council to ensure the security and safety of millions of dispossessed Syrian refugees, and to ensure their safety from arrest, torture or enforced disappearance, and it urges the Syrian regime to reveal the fate of some 82,000 Syrian citizens arrested by the security services.

OM: 16 Mediterranean migrants dead in first 13 days of 2019 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday that 2,200 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in the first 13 days of 2019, a slight increase over the 1,915 arriving in the same period last year, with 16 Mediterranean deaths reported this year. IOM said that most…

Daily World News Digest, 15 January 2019

Missing migrants on the route to the US

ABC News reports on the causes and dangers of migration from Central America to the US, following the progress of the “migrant caravan”. “The journey to the US passes through isolated countryside where Mexico’s Zeta drug cartel is expanding into kidnapping and people trafficking. The caravan offers safety in numbers, though several migrants have disappeared on the way.”

Montana proposes legislation to tackle issue of missing children

Authorities in the US state of Montana are considering a bill that would allow any law enforcement officer in the state to file a missing child report as soon as a child is reported missing. The proposed law would also let officers treat cases where a parent is keeping a child from their legal guardian as a missing child case, rather than a civil dispute.

Mass grave discovered in Iraq’s Nineveh Province

Iraqi security forces…

Daily World News Digest, 14 January 2019

Pakistan: families demand recovery of missing persons

The Nation newspaper in Pakistan reports that the families of Syed Nabeel Akhter and Junaid Iqbal, who have been missing for more than a year, have filed a petition in the Sindh High Court demanding that the authorities immediately present the men in court. The families say the men were abducted by plain-clothes counter-terrorism agents on 15 September 2017.

Sri Lanka to send samples to Florida lab for identification

Officials from Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons will join the chief investigator of the Mannar mass grave, where more than 200 sets of human remains have been excavated, to take samples from the grave to a laboratory in Florida for analysis, the Tamil Guardian reports.

Two Yezidi families rescued in Syria

Ezidi24 reports the rescue of two Yezidi families in Syria, consisting of two women and five children. The news portal says that…

Daily World News Digest, 11 January 2019

30,000 irregular migration deaths, disappearances

At least 30,510 people died during irregular migration between 2014 and 2018, the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project reports. More than 19,000 deaths and disappearances were recorded due to drowning, not only in the Mediterranean Sea, but also in the Rio Grande, the Bay of Bengal, and many other overseas routes. Due to the lack of official sources of information on deaths during migration, and the corresponding lack of detail on most of those who die during migration, these figures are best understood as a minimum estimate.

Mexico: Justice for the disappeared

Families of the missing in Mexico hope that the new president, López Obrador, will prioritize the search for the disappeared. The Nation has published an analysis of the country’s missing persons challenge and the options for the incoming administration, quoting Alejandro Encinas, the new sub-secretary of human rights, migration,…

Daily World News Digest, 10 January 2019

Bangladesh: highest number of extrajudicial killings in 6 years 

The human rights organization, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), in Bangladesh says the number of extrajudicial killings in the country in 2018 was the highest for six years, with 466 persons reported killed in 2018, in comparison to 176 in 2017. ASK has called on the government to appoint an independent commission to investigate the killings.   

Mass grave discovered in Nineveh, Iraq 

The Iraqi security forces say they have discovered a mass grave containing 38 bodies in the south of Nineveh, according to Shaafaq News. The bodies belong to 38 women believed to have been executed by Da’esh. (Original article in Arabic) 

Cambodia: excavation of 200 mass graves 

Cambodia’s Culture and Fine Arts Ministry is excavating 200 mass graves from the era of Khmer Rouge rule, from 1975 to 1979, when an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians were killed, the Khmer Times reports. Ministry archaeologists have catalogued the remains of victims at six sites since they began work in 2012. Around 200,000 victims have been identified.  

Mass grave excavated in Libya 

The Red Crescent in Derna City in Libya has excavated a mass grave containing the bodies of 50 Da’esh fighters killed in fighting, Shaafaq News reports. The bodies were buried between 2014 and…

Daily World News Digest, 9 January 2019

Post-conflict justice in the Western Balkans

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has published a report highlighting regional challenges in dealing with war crimes prosecutions, missing persons issues and victims’ participation in judicial processes. The report recommends steps that can be taken by countries in the Western Balkans in the process of dealing with the past, and urges the European Union to include transitional justice policies as EU benchmarks in the integration process.

EU urged to accept nearly 50 stranded migrants

France 24 reports on the predicament of around 50 migrants who have been stranded on two NGO ships off the coast of Malta. Humanitarian groups have made a direct appeal to the EU to allow them to dock, adding that the physical and psychological health of the migrants is at serious risk.

Cyprus prepares law on missing persons compensation

The authorities in Cyprus are preparing draft legislation on compensation…

Daily World News Digest, 8 January 2019

Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons

The Daily News from Sri Lanka has published an article on the work of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), noting that “there is no one accepted statistic for the total number of the missing and disappeared” and highlight the OMP’s “critical role” in compiling records “and developing a centralized list for its work and the interventions of other agencies and institutions”.

Germany investigates disappeared citizens in Egypt

Two German nationals with dual citizenship have disappeared in Egypt, Deutsche Welle reports. “There are two separate cases of German citizens who have been reported missing,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on 7 January. One of the men, an 18-year-old from the central city of Giessen, is believed to have disappeared before he was scheduled to take a flight from Luxor to Cairo. The other, a 23-year-old from Göttingen, was detained at Cairo airport while attempting…

Daily World News Digest, 7 January 2019

Arbitrary detention in China 

The Guardian has published an article by Michael Caster, author of “The People’s Republic of the Disappeared”, arguing that “over the years China has institutionalized arbitrary and secret detention affecting innumerable Chinese citizens, and with little international consequence.” The author says “China feels emboldened to place literally anyone under arbitrary and secret detention, regardless of citizenship.” 

Refugees stranded on Algeria-Nigeria border 

UNHCR has expressed concern over the safety of vulnerable individuals from Syria, Yemen and Palestine who are reportedly stranded at Algeria’s southern border with Niger. It says the group of 120 were detained at the Tamanrasset Centre in southern Algeria before being taken to an area near the Guezzam border post on 26 December. UNHCR says some of the individuals in the group are “registered refugees who have fled conflict and persecution or claim to have attempted to seek international protection in Algeria.” 

Mass grave discovered in Iraq’s northern…