Posts Categorized: Daily Digest

Daily World News Digest, 22 February 2019

Syria: new mass grave found near Raqqa

A mass grave holding an estimated 3,500 people has been found outside the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Rudaw news agency from Kurdistan, Iraq, reports. It says this is the biggest mass grave of Da’esh victims that has been discovered in Syria so far. Eight other mass graves have already been found around Raqqa, and local civil defense sources say 560 of 3,800 bodies have been identified and handed over to families for burial.

Philippines: rights groups call for Senator’s release

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and FORUM-ASIA have issued a statement calling on the Philippine government to “drop the politically-motivated charges against Senator Leila de Lima. Senator de Lima, a prominent critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs,” has been detained in the headquarters of the Philippine National Police since 24 February 2017.

Central African Republic: call for war crimes…

Daily World News Digest, 21 February 2019

DR Congo: police accused of enforced disappearances

Human Rights Watch has accused security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo of killing at least 27 young men and boys and forcibly disappearing seven others during an anti-crime campaign between May and September 2018. It says that, “police officers, often wearing civilian clothes, apprehended without warrant suspected gang members at night from their homes or other locations. In many cases, the police blindfolded and bound the victims, took them to unidentified locations, and killed them.

Syrian officials face prosecution in Sweden

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, which works to assist survivors of torture in Syria, says nine Syrians have filed a criminal complaint in Sweden against senior officials of the Damascus government, the New York Times reports. The complaint in Sweden follows similar moves taken in several European countries.

South Sudan: enforced disappearances

The Commission on Human…

Daily World News Digest, 20 February 2019

Yezidi survivors wait to learn the fate of missing relatives

Reuters reports on the experience of Yezidis who lost loved ones during and after the 2014 Da’esh attack on their villages in Iraq. More than 3,000 Yezidis were killed in an onslaught that the UN described as genocidal. Survivors wait to learn the fate of family members ahead of the opening of mass and clandestine graves.

Indonesia: mass grave from 2004 Boxing Day tsunami

A mass grave containing the remains of hundreds of 2004 Boxing Day tsunami victims has been unearthed in northwest Sumatra in Indonesia, the Daily Mail reports. The burial site was found during an inspection of land prior to construction work, and local citizens believe there are hundreds of burial sites in the area that were not clearly marked. The Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 killed more than 230,000 people.

Philippines: new legal definition of…

Daily World News Digest, 19 February 2019

Accounting for the missing is an investment in peace

The Mediterranean remains the scene of daily tragedies, even if a reduction in the number of migrants reaching Europe has resulted in less media coverage, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger wrote in The Times of Malta today. She noted that, “while fewer refugees have tried to make the journey, fatalities and disappearances have continued,” and she highlighted “an urgent need to mobilize existing capacities among European countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Italy”. She expressed confidence that “through cooperation and coordination, European countries can tackle this problem quickly and effectively.”

Brazil: HRW calls for independent investigation of extrajudicial killings

Human Rights Watch has urged the authorities in Brazil to investigate allegations that one or more police snipers killed at least two people in a poor neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro in late January, 2019. Police killed 1,530 people in 2018 in…

Daily World News Digest, 18 February 2019

Philippines: NGO protests delisting of 625 enforced disappearance cases

The NGO Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) has criticized the Philippine government’s plan to delist 625 cases of Filipinos who were disappeared from 1975 to 2012, GMA News from the Philippines reports. FIND says the government’s plan is “an attempt to sweep the hapless victims of involuntary disappearance under the rug”.

ICMP: Srebrenica Genocide is established historical fact

Following an announcement by the government of Republika Srpska, one of two Entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that it is establishing commissions to investigate events in and around Srebrenica and in Sarajevo during the war, N1 News reports that ICMP has expressed its full support for all efforts that can lead to more information in respect of missing persons, but there can be no revisionism of the established facts regarding genocide in Srebrenica. (article in B/C/S).

UN: missing persons issue…

Daily World News Digest, 15 February 2019

Philippines to delist enforced disappearance cases

The Philstar news portal reports that the Philippine government intends to delist more than 600 cases of enforced and involuntary disappearances that occurred from 1975 to 2012, as part of its engagement with the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the process of clarifying these cases is supported by and runs parallel to mechanisms established by the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Law of 2012. It says the government will continue to assist families of the disappeared.

Syria: mass grave found near Raqqa

Around 150 sets of human remains have been found near the former Da’esh capital in Syria, Raqqa. ANSA MED also reports that a mass grave has been discovered with more than 1,000 bodies that have not yet been exhumed.

Sri Lanka: DNA of families to be tested

Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons…

Daily World News Digest, 14 February 2019

Malaysia: campaign to account for missing pastor and associates

The Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances group in Malaysia, which is campaigning to find out what happened to four persons who went missing two years ago, has asked Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to order a new probe into the cases. The group called on Dr Mahathir to meet the family members of the missing persons to establish what happened and bring those responsible to justice.

Teenage migrant missing in Aegean

Greek coastguard vessels are searching for a 15-year-old girl who went missing after the boat she was traveling in, along with more than 50 migrants, capsized off the coast of Lesbos, according to The Greek Reporter. According to the latest data provided by the Greek Coast Guard, 2,075 new migrants and refugees arrived on Greek islands in the eastern Aegean Sea during the month of January.

Egypt steps up executions  


Daily World News Digest, 13 February 2019

Missing Kenyan activist found dead

A prominent Kenyan human rights activist, Caroline Mwatha, has been found dead, six days after she went missing, the BBC reports. Mwatha worked for the Dandora Community Justice Center, which has documented cases of extrajudicial killings by security personnel and campaigned for accountability and justice for victims.

Mexico: bodies of missing police officers may have been found

Authorities in the western Mexico state of Michoacan say they have found the bodies of five men in an abandoned truck, ABC News reports. Local media report that the bodies belong to five police officers from the town of Tuzantla who have been missing since last week.

Malaysia: two years since disappearance of clergyman

Yahoo News Singapore reports on the second anniversary of the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and several others in Malaysia. A civil society group Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) will meet Prime Minister Tun…

Daily World News Digest, 12 February 2019

Brazil: Identifying victims of Brumadinho disaster

For fifteen days forensic experts in Brazil are working on recovering bodies of victims of Brumadinho dam disaster, O Globo reports. So far, 157 deaths have been confirmed and 165 people remain missing, while biggest challenge remains to locate and rescue the bodies. So far more than 500 samples of DNA of relatives of the disappeared had already been collected. The genetic material of the living will be compared with the victims found in cases where identification by other methods is not possible. (Original article in Portuguese).

Bosnia: Srebrenica women protest against new commission

Members of the ‘Women of Srebrenica’ Association gathered in the city of Tuzla to protest over a decision by Bosnian Serb authorities to form a commission that would reexamine what happened in Srebrenica during the 1990s war in Bosnia, N1 reports. The establishment of a new commission was condemned by…

Daily World News Digest, 11 February 2019

Vietnam: US veterans help find Vietnamese missing from the war reports on the Veterans Initiative of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) program, which started in 1993 and utilizes artifacts and testimony of US veterans to help Vietnam find the remains of persons missing from the war. VVA teams have made 25 trips to Vietnam, providing information on 304 possible burial sites. Vietnam, which still has hundreds of thousands of missing persons, has used this information to recover more than 2,000 remains.

Rescued Yezidis return to Sinjar

After been enslaved for more than four years, five Yezidi women and seven children have been rescued by the Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria and have returned to their families in Sinjar, KirkukNow reports, highlighting the fact that 3,000 Yezidis are still missing (original article in Arabic).

Pashtun’s against forced disappearances

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Manzoor Ahmad…