Yearly Archives: 2019

Daily World News Digest 12 November 2019

Four migrants missing in the Danube

Four migrants have gone missing from a boat in the Danube River after attempting to cross into Croatia, Ansamed reports. The incident took place near Apatin, on the Danube in northern Serbia, where a stretch of the river marks the border with Croatia. Police and teams of divers are at the scene conducting searches for the missing migrants.

US: gathering DNA from detained migrants

The Hill news portal from Washington DC has published an opinion piece examining the constitutional implications of a proposal to gather DNA from all migrants detained while trying to enter the United States. The article argues that enacting a proposal that has been advanced by the US Department of Justice “presumes that all migrants are or will be criminals, rather than the ‘tired,’ ‘poor,’ and ‘yearning’ families that comprise the majority of Central American migrant families.”

The Philippines: extrajudicial…

Daily World News Digest 11 November 2019

Syria: arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances

UN monitors report that scores of civilians are being killed and wounded, and thousands are fleeing their homes as violence and human rights abuses escalate in northern and northeastern Syria, Voice of America reports. Civilians have been victims of airstrikes, ground-based strikes and summary executions and a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for human rights says people recently displaced have been subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance after returning to their homes.

Mexico: mass grave in Sonora

The Associated Press reports that 10 more bodies have been uncovered in a mass grave near Puerto Peñasco, a seaside resort in the Mexican state of Sonora about 100 kilometers from the border with the US state of Arizona. This brings the number of bodies found at the location since the end of October to 52.

Thailand: officials to be charged with disappearance of…

Daily World News Digest 8 November 2019

ICMP donates DNA lab equipment to University of Sarajevo

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has presented Sarajevo University’s Faculty of Medicine with laboratory equipment that will increase capacity at the university’s Institute for Legal Medicine, The Sarajevo Times reports. The equipment includes a DNA sequencer, a sequencing computer, a mini centrifuge and software, and is part of ICMP’s continuing program to help institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina develop their capacity to account for missing persons.

Mexico launches missing persons registration platform

Mexico has launched an electronic platform that allows anyone to report a missing person “in a swift, transparent and trustworthy manner”, according to the Informador newspaper. Missing migrant reports can be made using the same platform, the paper says.   Alejandro Encinas, the deputy interior minister responsible for human rights, said that through this platform Mexico aims to address the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendations to improve its…

ICMP Donates DNA Lab Equipment To University of Sarajevo Faculty of Medicine

Sarajevo, 7 November 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has presented Sarajevo University’s Faculty of Medicine with a comprehensive range of laboratory equipment which will improve capacity at the University’s Institute for Legal Medicine.

At the Faculty today, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, Matthew Holliday, presented the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Dr. Semra Čavaljuga, with the accompanying documentation for the equipment, which includes a DNA sequencer, a sequencing computer, a mini centrifuge and software needed to make the equipment operational.

“One of the most important tasks of the Faculty of Medicine is to improve all our capacities. This equipment is of great importance as it is going to be used in our teaching process to gain new modern knowledge and broaden horizons. Students will have an opportunity to be acquainted with the innovative technologies in the field of genetics”, Professor Čavaljuga said.

Matthew Holliday stressed…

Daily World News Digest 7 November 2019

El Salvador: Human remains exhumed

The remains of 11 persons who were killed in the 1981 El Mozote massacre at the beginning of the civil war in El Salvador have been exhumed by an international forensic team, AFP reports. The remains are believed to include those of five children, one of them an infant, killed when soldiers threw a hand grenade into a cave where people were hiding. The latest evidence will be used in a case against soldiers accused of being involved in the massacre.

Amnesty urges states to condemn human rights violations in Iran

Amnesty International has urged the international community to denounce widespread human rights violations in Iran, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. It says that in the last 30 years “thousands of political dissidents and activists have become victims of such crimes.”

Nigeria: investigation of alleged extra-judicial killings by customs officers

After Nigerian customs…

Daily World News Digest 6 November 2019

Searching for missing victims of Mexico’s drug wars

The Guardian reports on clandestine burial sites in Mexico, including more than 500 that have been discovered since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took power last December. The article follows the family of a victim, who accompany a government forensic team to a possible clandestine grave, on one of the first missions conducted by a newly created state search commission.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: human remains exhumed

Radio Sarajevo reports that a set of human remains has been found at Radonjići in Pale Municipality near Sarajevo. Forensic experts from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) assisted with the excavation, which was led by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Original article in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian).

Malaysia detains two Cambodian dissidents

Malaysian authorities have detained two Cambodian opposition activists while they were waiting to board a flight to Thailand, Al Jazeera reports. Authorities…

Daily World News Digest 5 November 2019

Trauma as kidnap victims in Iraq try to reintegrate

The New York Times carries an in-depth report on the massive mental health challenge facing Iraq as people who were kidnapped and enslaved by Da’esh try to reintegrate in their communities.

Mothers intimidated in Puerto Peñasco after discovering more bodies

Armed men are reported to have intimidated a group of Mexican mothers who found six bodies near a mass grave outside Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, AZ Central reports. This followed the discovery of 42 bodies in the grave since the end of October.

A program is searching for migrants missing between the US-Mexico border

A missing migrants program operated by the US Border Patrol has called on families to provide all possible information when an individual goes missing while trying to enter the US, Telemundo Arizona reports. This program specializes in “prevention, localization, identification and recuperation” and is working with Mexico, Guatemala,…

ICMP Submits First Two DNA Match Reports to the Albanian Authorities

31 October 2019: Today in Tirana the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) announced that it has submitted the first two DNA Match Reports to the Albanian authorities. These Match Reports will enable the authorities to make conclusive, scientific identifications of two individuals who went missing during the period of Communist rule.

Speaking at a press conference in the EU House in Tirana, Matthew Holliday, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program said the Match Reports submitted to the Albanian authorities “demonstrate that missing persons can be accurately identified even decades after the disappearances.” He added that “the first results of ICMP’s EU-funded project mark a crucial turning point in addressing the issue of persons missing from the Communist era in Albania.”

Albania’s Deputy Interior Minister, Rovena Voda, stressed that locating and identifying those who went missing “is a legal obligation of our country, in accordance with the constitution, laws and…

Daily World News Digest 4 November 2019

Northern Ireland: appeal to find missing persons from 1970s

A fresh appeal to find the last three of 16 victims who were killed and secretly buried by republicans in Northern Ireland in the 1970s has been made during the annual silent walk by families of the victims, the BBC reports.

Syrian NGO records human rights violations in October

Cases of arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance of civilians are documented in the October monthly report of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, which lists 171 civilian deaths, including 28 children and 18 women, as well as two media workers, at the hands of the main perpetrator parties. The report documents at least 183 cases of arbitrary arrests, including six children and five women.

Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Bangladesh

Amnesty International reports that 466 persons were killed in suspected extrajudicial executions In Bangladesh in 2018 following enforced disappearances.

Daily World News Digest 1 November 2019

ICMP helps Albania identify victims from Communist era

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) announced on Thursday in Tirana that it has submitted the first two DNA Match Reports to the Albanian authorities, Balkan Insight reports. These Match Reports will enable the authorities to make conclusive identifications of two individuals who went missing during the period of Communist rule. About 6,000 Albanians are thought to have been killed under the Communist regime that ruled the country from 1945 to 1992.

Gambia: women testify against former president

Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has concluded three weeks of public hearings dedicated to sexual and gender-based violence under the presidency of Yahya Jammeh, Reuters reports. Jammeh fled into exile in Equatorial Guinea in 2017 after losing an election that ended his 22-year-rule – a period marked by killings, torture and forced disappearances.

Cyprus: two sets of human remains discovered…