Posts Categorized: Daily Digest

Daily World News Digest, 22 March 2018

UN: extrajudicial and unlawful killings persist in Libya

Armed groups execute and torture civilians in Libya with almost complete impunity seven years after the revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. Libyans and migrants are often held incommunicado in arbitrary detention in appalling conditions, and reports persist of captured migrants being bought and sold on “open slave markets”, the UN human rights office says in a report to the Human Rights Council.

Iraq: “more than 3,000 people facing death” over terror-related offenses

Amnesty International has expressed alarm over an Associated Press report that Iraqi authorities have detained or imprisoned at least 19,000 people accused of links to Da’esh or other terror-related offenses, and sentenced more than 3,000 of them to death. Thousands have been arbitrarily arrested, forcibly disappeared, and routinely subjected to torture and horrific conditions in detention, Amnesty says.

Fate of disappeared stirs anger in Pakistan

Although rights groups say that…

Daily World News Digest, 21 March 2018

Disappearances in Pakistan

More than 700 reports of disappearances have been received by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from Pakistan, and hundreds more have been reported to Pakistani authorities, “but nobody has ever been held accountable for an enforced disappearance in the country”, Amnesty International says. It says victims include “bloggers, journalists, students, peace activists, and other human rights defenders whose work promotes the same values as this Council and is crucial to a free and just society.” Amnesty warns that the disappeared risk torture and even death, and describes forced disappearances as “a tool of terror.”

Nigeria: 76 schoolgirls released

The majority of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by militants from the town of Dapchi last month have been returned, the government says. Nigeria’s Ministry of Information says 76 of the 110 schoolgirls were brought back in the early hours of Wednesday following…

Daily World News Digest, 20 March 2018

Ukraine: victims of enforced disappearance seek justice

Victims of arbitrary detention in government-controlled secret prisons in eastern Ukraine face new, serious obstacles to justice, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. At least five detainees held in secret facilities run by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) in 2015 and 2016 filed complaints against the authorities for their enforced disappearance, torture, and other ill-treatment used to extract forced confessions, and subsequent unlawful detention. “People held for months in Ukraine’s secret detention sites endured serious abuse,” said Tanya Cooper, Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Almost two years later, facing a wall of denial from the authorities, they are as far from justice as when they were detained.”

ICMP’s laboratory system in The Hague is operational

The ICMP laboratory system in The Hague became fully operational this month and all the samples received from BiH have been delivered to ICMP for processing….

Daily World News Digest, 19 March 2018

Nepal: reparation for the families of killed and disappeared

Three years after its formation, the Nepali Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has started talks with victims of the conflict and human rights activists on a reparation policy. Although families of victims from the the decade long insurgency that ended in 2006 have received cash support of just under 10,000 USD, no other reparation has been provided. The TRC formed a committee two years ago to establish a reparations policy, this has not yet been finalized. Conflict victims argue that reparations should be based on UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims.

Proposals for new missing persons initiative in Libya

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has convened a two-day meeting in Tripoli on “Knowing the Fate of Missing Persons in Libya: A Condition for Meaningful Reconciliation,” aimed at exploring best ways…

Daily World News Digest, 16 March 2018

Colombia: Special Jurisdiction for Peace begins operations

Colombia’s transitional justice system is beginning its work, investigating and preparing cases on crimes committed during the nation’s five-decade conflict. Officials said Thursday that victims will now be able to file complaints with the newly created jurisdiction and hailed the commencement as a historic step toward reconciliation. It’s not yet been determined when the cases will be heard in court. Nearly 4,700 ex-combatants with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have already committed to confessing their crimes to special peace tribunals and making reparation to victims. The former rebels reached an accord with the government in 2016. More than 250,000 people were killed, millions displaced and at least 60,000 left missing during the conflict between leftist rebels, government forces and paramilitary groups.

Sri Lanka to establish “Office for Reparations”

Following the establishment of the Office on Missing Persons, the Sri Lankan…

Daily World News Digest, 15 March 2018

Nigeria: President insists that search for missing schoolgirls is continuing

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed on Wednesday that his government will not give up until the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants are freed. “There will be no rest till the last girl, whether from Chibok and (or) Dapchi, is released,” Buhari said, referring to the towns where the terror group has struck in the past four years. He was speaking at a college in Dapchi, a town in Yobe state where Boko Haram abducted 110 schoolgirls on 19 February. In April 2014, Boko Haram sparked international outrage when it kidnapped 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok, in Borno state. More than 100 of these girls remain in captivity, and their whereabouts are unknown.

 UN urged to address human rights violations in China

Human Rights Watch has issued a statement urging the UN Human Rights Council to reject…

Daily World News Digest, 14 March 2018

Libya: Missing Migrants

More than 10,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, and more than 460 people have died or gone missing making the crossing. There are other hazards too: migrants in Libya who have been abducted and tortured to extort a payment for their release, and even sold as slaves. Yet despite these dangers, the International Organization for Migration estimates there are up to 1 million migrants currently in Libya.

Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons starts work

The Chair of Sri Lanka’s newly constituted Office on Missing Persons (OMP), Saliya Pieris, has issued a statement formally announcing that the OMP has begun operations and promising that it will address cases “irrespective of ethnicity, religion and region.” The statement defines the OMP’s key tasks as “tracing missing and disappeared persons, clarifying the circumstances in which the act took place, protecting the rights and interests of those…

Daily World News Digest, 13 March 2018

Campaigners in Ireland call for full excavation of mass grave

Survivors and family members of the 796 “Tuam babies” have urged the Irish authorities to carry out a full forensic excavation and exhumation, as well as DNA testing at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in the West of Ireland where a mass grave was discovered more than a year ago.

Cameroon: crackdown on political activists

The Lagos-based rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the African Union (AU) to suspend Cameroon in order to put pressure on its government to end the alleged torture and ill-treatment of 47 political activists forcibly returned to Cameroon by the Nigerian authorities. According to the group, activists in Cameroon are also subjected to enforced disappearances, politically motivated trials, and gross and systematic violations of their rights.

UN official fears for safety after Philippines lists her…

Daily World News Digest, 12 March 2018

14 Years since Disappearance of Thai Rights Lawyer

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has again highlighted the enforced disappearance of the former chairperson of Thailand’s Muslim Lawyers Association and vice-chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Lawyers Council of Thailand, Somchai Neelapaijit, who was abducted on 12 March 2004 in Bangkok allegedly by police officers and has not been seen since. A court ruled that Somchai’s family could not act as a co-plaintiff because there was no concrete evidence that he was dead, setting a precedent that places the burden of proving enforced disappearance on the disappeared person.

ICMP to identify migrants missing in the Mediterranean

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is to launch a program to help account for migrants who die trying to cross the Mediterranean. It will do so with financial support from Switzerland, among others. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than…

Daily World News Digest, 9 March 2018

Extrajudicial killings by police officers worldwide

The Economist has published and editorial on extrajudicial killings committed by security forces in different parts of the world. It argues that in countries where extrajudicial killings by police officers are most common “the biggest incentive is impunity for the killings”. In many developing countries, it says, “the authorities encourage extrajudicial executions, either to get rid of dissidents or to suppress crime. Voters often applaud them for it.”

Pakistan: missing activist resurfaces after one year

Samar Abbas, the head of the Civil Progressive Alliance Pakistan, an anti-extremism activist group and Pakistani social media activist, has made contact with his family after his disappearance 14 months ago. At the time of Abbas’ disappearance, four other liberal social media activists, who had been accused of posting “blasphemous content on the Internet”, also went missing from different cities in Pakistan but returned after several weeks.