Posts Categorized: Daily Digest

Daily World News Digest, 15 July 2015

Hungary starts building fence on Serbian border

Balkan Insight reported on 14 July that the Hungarian Army has started to prepare the terrain near Morahalom, a small southern border town of about 6,000 people, for the erection of a four-meter-high fence designed to stop illegal migrants. The authorities are only erecting an “experimental” fence, here however, no more than 150 meters long. Similar short stretches of fences are to be built at ten locations in all, where the Hungarian authorities say they are “most exposed to the pressures of migrants”. Over 70,000 illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria have arrived in Hungary since the beginning of this year, a sharp increase on the figures for 2014 and 2013. The arrivals reach Hungary on a route that leads from Turkey through Serbia and Macedonia.

New cases of enforced disappearances of students in Egypt

Allafrica, a news portal, carried a…

Daily World News Digest, 14 July 2015

Colombian city’s new face and violent underbelly collide

The New York Times reported on 13 July on high levels of violence in Colombia. The added law enforcement presence in Buenaventura and focus on arresting gang members has cut the murder rate significantly, according to Col. Marcelo Russi, who took over as police commander in September. Disappearances were also down. But there are so many unsolved cases, including a backlog of more than 400 disappearances, that investigators have hardly been able to make a dent in them. Prosecutors said that many murders and disappearances occurred when people unwittingly crossed borders between gang territories. Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group based in New York, has published two recent reports denouncing conditions here.

Human rights abuses persist in China

Voice of America carried a story on 12 July saying that in China, the government continues to commit human rights abuses. According to the State…

Daily World News Digest, 13 July 2015

Twenty years on, we’re still digging up the dead of the Srebrenica massacre

The Telegraph carried an article written by Alistair Burt, a British minister at the Department of Health and ICMP Commissioner since December 2013, on 10 July, saying that Srebrenica has emerged in the post-Cold War world as a symbol of political and moral failure on a catastrophic scale. Around 8,000 people were murdered after the UN protected enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica were overrun by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. Executions were filmed; trench graves were filled with corpses and later robbed with mechanical diggers in a vain attempt to hide evidence. He added: “Since December 2013 I have been a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the organization that has led the effort to account for tens of thousands of persons who went missing during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and…

Daily World News Digest, 10 July 2015

Why we are excavating the dead of Srebrenica

The Guardian carried a story on 9 July saying that Kathryne Bomberger, director general of the International Commission on Missing Persons stated that on Saturday, world attention will focus for a few hours on the town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia. The systematic killing that took place 20 years ago constitutes the only recognized genocide on European soil since the second world war. “For nearly two decades, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), of which I am director general, has worked with families of the missing, local Bosnian authorities and domestic and international courts to locate and identify the victims of Srebrenica. This has made it possible for families to bury their dead with dignity, and it has made it possible to piece together what happened and to prosecute some of those who were responsible for the murders,” Bomberger said. She…

Daily World News Digest, 9 July 2015

Russia vetoes UN move to call Srebrenica “genocide”

The BBC reported on 8 July that Russia has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have described the Srebrenica massacre as “genocide”. Four other members of the council abstained while the remainder voted in favor. The killing of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 by Bosnian Serb troops was the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two. The motion had angered Serbia, which rejects the term. It had been drafted to mark the 20th anniversary of the atrocity, which came amid the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia into independent states. During the Bosnian War, which saw Serbia-backed Bosnian Serb forces fighting the Muslim-led Bosnian government, thousands seeking shelter at what was supposed to be a UN refuge were slaughtered. The resolution said that “acceptance of the tragic events at Srebrenica as genocide is a prerequisite for reconciliation”….

Daily World News Digest, 8 July 2015

Truth and justice are antidotes to violence and hatred

On 7 July the Huffington Post published an opinion piece by ICMP Commissioner Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan describing the remarkable response of families of the missing in the years since the Srebrenica genocide. Queen Noor wrote that she has spent long periods over the last two decades in the company of the Mothers of Srebrenica, who are “among the bravest and most inspiring people it has ever been my privilege to meet.” She stressed that “they have refused to abandon the pursuit of justice, and they have refused to descend to the level of the men who murdered their fathers and husbands and sons: they have refused to hate.” She stressed that ICMP has responded to the horror of Srebrenica with effective strategies that use state of the art technology and foster the rule of law. “Each of the…

Daily World News Digest, 7 July 2015

War crime convictions urged for Serbian security officials

Balkan Insight reported on 6 July that in an appeal hearing on Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the prosecution asked for a reversal of the initial verdict on former state security officials Stanisic and Simatovic which found them not guilty of war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia during the 1990s. “The trial chamber verdict contains serious errors, it blocked justice and accountability,” the prosecution said, adding that such a ruling “can harm future international justice decisions”. The Hague Tribunal in 2013 acquitted Stanisic, the former head of the Serbian interior ministry’s security service, and his right-hand man, Franko Simatovic, commander of the ministry’s Special Operations Unit, of taking part in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at forcibly removing Bosniaks and Croatians from large parts of Bosnia and Croatia from 1991 to 1995.

100,000 Bones exhibit to…

Daily World News Digest, 6 July 2015

Srebrenica dead to be remembered

The Daily Mail reports today that thousands of men and boys killed in the Srebrenica genocide 20 years ago will be remembered at a service at Westminster Abbey today. More than 8,370 Bosnian Muslims were systematically murdered in the days after General Ratko Mladic and Bosnian Serb troops captured the town on 11 July 1995, during the Balkans conflict. The United Nations described it as “the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War”. Prime Minister David Cameron has led tributes and the Princess Royal will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday for Srebrenica Memorial Day. Mr Cameron said: “We must never, ever forget what happened at Srebrenica. The 20th anniversary is a moment to remember the many thousands who lost their lives and to remember their families and the missing.”

Serbs ask Russia to veto UN resolution on Srebrenica

The Moscow…

New Global Missing Persons Trends

Imigrant Crossing US Mexico Border

ICMP’s Daily World News Digest brings together news stories dealing with enforced disappearances and missing persons cases from around the world. It offers a snapshot of daily events and over a longer period it highlights key trends.

Mediterranean Migration

The Mediterranean migration crisis continued to dominate headlines in June. A new structural aspect emerged amid reports of African migrants dying on the dangerous route across the Sahara, even before they reach the Mediterranean.

Euronews reported on 31 May  that thousands of migrants rescued from the Mediterranean were continuing to arrive in Italian ports, most, reportedly, from Eritrea, where alleged human rights abuses have sparked a refugee exodus. European authorities said that more than 5,000 migrants had been saved from boats in distress since 29 May, and operations were underway to rescue hundreds more. The Greek Reporter news portal reported on 31 May that the Greek coast guard rescued 237 migrants…

Daily World News Digest, 3 July 2015

Congo-Brazzaville: Mass deportations

Amnesty International issued a statement on 2 July arguing that police violence, persecution, arbitrary detentions and rape amid a security operation to deport tens of thousands of DR Congo nationals from Congo-Brazzaville last year were part of widespread attacks that could amount to crimes against humanity. “Operation Mbata ya Bakolo: mass expulsions of foreign nationals in the Republic of Congo” documents a range of human rights violations and crimes under international law committed by Congolese security forces and others from April to September last year. During this period, at least 179,000 DRC nationals, including many refugees and asylum seekers, were rounded up, arbitrarily arrested, and forced to leave Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Amnesty said.

Call for action on missing persons in Kashmir

Pakistan Observer reports today that human rights group, “Voice of Victims” has asked India to disclose the whereabouts of disappeared persons, implement the recommendations…