Posts Categorized: Daily Digest

Daily World News Digest, 15 April 2015


Hundreds of migrants feared drowned off Libya

The BBC reports today that about 400 migrants are feared drowned after their boat capsized off Libya. The report cites testimony given by survivors to Save the Children. The Italian coast guard had rescued 144 people on Monday and launched an air and sea search operation in hopes of rescuing others. Save the Children said that many of the survivors were “young men, probably minors”. The European Union says that more than 7,000 migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean since Friday. Survivors say that the latest tragedy happened after the boat, carrying about 550 migrants in total, overturned a day after leaving Libya. Nine bodies have already been recovered, but no more survivors have been found since then.

Syria: 16-year-old student missing since 2012

The Alkarama NGO issued a statement on 14 April saying that it has written to the UN Working…

Daily World News Digest, 14 April 2015

MSF to launch Mediterranean migrant rescue boat

The BBC reported on 10 April that Medecins Sans Frontieres is to launch a search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean to save migrants trying to reach Europe by boat. The aid agency will operate a 40-meter ship, the MY Phoenix, from May to October, when thousands more people are expected to attempt the perilous journey. MSF has rejected UK government claims that such services encourage more people-smuggling ships. Its small operation, to be run with the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), will see the MY Phoenix staffed by a medical team including two doctors and a nurse as well as high-speed inflatable boats and surveillance drones. The Italian navy’s search and rescue mission, Mare Nostrum, ended in November last year after some EU members said they could not afford to fund it. Last year an estimated 3,400 migrants, mostly from Africa, died…

Daily World News Digest, 10 April 2015

Mass graves in Mexico

The Aleteia news portal reports today that a recent report from the office of the Mexican Attorney General revealed that, of the 601 bodies found between 1 December 2006 and 28 February 2015, in 174 secret mass graves spread throughout the country, 80 percent have not yet been identified. The Attorney General’s report indicated that 302 of the bodies that have been found were male, while 40 were female. The status of the remaining bodies has not been determined. The report was obtained by the newspaper El Universal under Mexico’s new Transparency Law, which obliges authorities to give information to organizations or individuals who request it. In the report, the Attorney General’s office indicated that not all cases are documented “because some states do not work in coordination” with the office. The media report notes that the number of individuals found in mass graves is a…

Daily World News Digest, 9 April 2015

Bosnian Serb General Tolimir jailed for genocide

BalkanInsight reported on 8 April that the Hague Tribunal has sentenced wartime General Zdravko Tolimir to life imprisonment for the genocide of Bosniaks from Srebrenica. Tolimir was acquitted on appeal of committing genocide in Zepa. The UN-backed war crimes court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Tolimir, the former intelligence chief of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Main Headquarters, against his conviction for genocide against thousands of Bosniak men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995. Tolimir was a close aide to Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic.

Call for UN to pressure Syria on disappearances

The Geneva based Alkarama news portal reported on 8 April that it has written to the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) about the disappearance of Abdel Muti Ibrahim, a Syrian citizen, from Idlib Governorate. It describes the case of Ibrahim as the latest in a long…

Daily World News Digest, 8 April 2015

DR Congo authorities seek to explain discovery of mass grave

AFP reported on 7 April that Democratic Republic of Congo authorities on Tuesday denied that a mass grave discovered in the capital Kinshasa contained the bodies of opposition supporters. “The bodies of 421 people were buried on 19 March in the capital’s Maluku district,” Kinshasa’s interim governor Luzolanu Mavema told reporters. “Among these were around 300 stillborn babies and foetuses abandoned in streams, rivers and even hospitals.” He added that there were 23 abandoned bodies, those of 34 “drifters” and 64 unidentified corpses. Mavema said the government has “absolutely nothing to hide”, and dismissed rumors that the common grave might contain the bodies of government opponents who were killed during protests and mass arrests in January. The protesters had denounced moves they claimed were designed to delay presidential elections and allow President Joseph Kabila to remain in power in defiance…

Daily World News Digest, 7 April 2015

Mass graves of Iraqi soldiers found in Tikrit

The BBC reports today that the suspected mass graves of up to 1,700 captured Iraqi soldiers killed by Islamic State (IS) have been found in the city of Tikrit. The sites are near the former US Army base, Camp Speicher. Iraqi forensic teams have begun to excavate 12 graves following the city’s recent liberation from IS. After the June 2014 incident, IS posted videos and pictures of the execution of the mostly Shia soldiers on social media. Survivors say the militants questioned the victims to identity those who were Shia before killing them. The exhumations began just days after Tikrit fell to a combination of the Iraqi army and Shia militia following a month long siege. DNA testing will be used to identify the bodies once they have been exhumed, as many families have never had confirmation of their relatives’ death. Shia…

Daily World News Digest, 3 April 2015

Iraqi army finds massacre burial sites near Tikrit

PressTV reports today that Iraqi forces that have retaken the town of Tikrit from Islamic State have found a mass grave near the river containing hundreds of soldiers; identify cards have been found with the victims.  The report says Iraqi authorities have prevented anyone from opening the graves, ensuring that a team of experts will be able to inspect the site and transfer the bodies to Baghdad for DNA testing.

Mass Graves Found in Boko Haram Towns

NBC news reported on 1 April that UN officials have cataloged mass graves, the murder of enslaved women and girls, and the use of children as cannon fodder by Boko Haram. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein did not specify if any of the girls reportedly killed were those abducted in April 2014 from the town of Chibok. Coalition forces of Nigeria,…

Global Missing Persons Trends

ICMP’s Daily World News Digest  (link to 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.

Missing Persons in Asia

In March, a series of stories appeared dealing with the significant missing persons problem in Asia, as a result of migration in many instances and, in many other instances, as a result of governments circumventing judicial process in the name of public security.

The Eurasiareview reported on 1 March ( that as many as 36 million people may be victims of trafficking worldwide, and two-thirds of this number may be from Asia. The article noted that profits from worldwide forced labor and sex trafficking may be as high as $150 billion annually. A report in the Washington Post ( on 16 March added further…

Daily World News Digest, 2 April 2015

Passover for missing persons held in Tel Aviv

The Jerusalem Post reported on 1 April that a full Passover seder service was conducted on Wednesday morning in the middle of Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, to highlight the plight of missing persons and their families. Signs bearing the images of missing persons were arranged around the Passover seder table that was set up by the Forum of Families of Missing People in order to draw public attention to the issue. The organization is seeking to anchor in law the status of families, by obtaining official recognition of their situation, as well as financial assistance, recognition of the costs of searching for their loved ones, and assistance for their psychological well-being.

Forced disappearance of students in Egypt

Ikhwan, the official website of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, reported on 31 March that the number of students subjected to enforced disappearances is increasing, according…

Daily World News Digest, 1 April 2015

Mexican Government must support work of international experts

The Latin American Tribune reported today that six months after 43 students were forcibly disappeared in southern Mexico a group of international human rights organizations have organized and signed a petition calling on the Mexican government to fully support the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights-appointed Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (Grupo Interdisciplinario de Expertos y Expertas Independientes, GIEI), which has been tasked with reviewing the case, and to fully implement its recommendations. On 19 March, the GIEI released a report on its first trip to Mexico (March 1-19). The Group’s initial requests to the Mexican authorities are that they continue the search for the missing students; that the case be treated as a case of enforced disappearance; that they ensure the preservation of evidence; that they provide medical attention to those affected by this crime, including the student’s families…