Posts Categorized: Daily Digest

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…

Daily World News Digest, 31 March 2015

Germanwings DNA identification could take four months

Australian Associated Press reports today that it could take up to four months to identify victims from last week’s Germanwings crash using DNA, according to the head of the research institute carrying out the work. Francois Daoust, the head of the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie in Pontoise near Paris, told dpa on Monday that it might not be possible to identify all 150 people who died in Tuesday’s crash in the French Alps. In the crash of an Air Algerie plane in Mali last year, the institute was able to identify 115 of the 116 victims. “The 116th we couldn’t identify because we couldn’t recover any of his remains,” Daoust said. The impact of Germanwings flight 4U9525 also occurred at a higher velocity than the Air Algerie flight.

Senator seeks change in Philippines missing persons legislation

The news portal…

Daily World News Digest, 30 March 2015

Germanwings crash: DNA of 78 victims found

The BBC reported on 29 March that five days after Germanwings flight 4U 9525 crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 on board, investigators say they have isolated DNA of 78 victims. Recovery teams have so far only reached the mountainside on foot or by helicopter to continue the search for human remains as well as parts of the aircraft, including the flight data recorder which is still missing. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said work on an access road which would give all-terrain vehicles access to the area could be completed by Monday evening.

Hundreds of hidden human trafficking victims in Scotland, says minister

STV News reports today that there could be around 1,000 hidden victims of human trafficking in Scotland, according to the Justice Secretary. Official figures show that there were 55 people across Scotland identified as trafficking victims. However Michael…

Daily World News Digest, 27 March 2015


Mexico: Six months of frustration and failure in search for missing students

Amnesty International issued a statement on 26 March noting that, six months on from the tragedy, Mexican authorities have made “shamefully little progress” in their investigation into the enforced disappearance of 43 student teachers from Guerrero State.  “The past six months have been a period of heartbreak and torment for the family and friends of those who were forcibly disappeared last September. Despite worldwide attention on the issue, the Mexican authorities have failed to properly pursue all lines of investigation, especially the worrying allegations of complicity by armed forces. The Mexican authorities cannot wait even one day more, but must act now to bring those responsible to justice,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director Amnesty International. According to official figures, more than 25,700 people have disappeared or gone missing in Mexico in the last decade, almost half of them…

Daily World News Digest, 26 March 2015


Bosnian Serb leader calls for Srebrenica “Truth Commission”

Balkan Insight reports today on the fall-out from an interview given by Milorad Dodik, president of the predominantly Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the Serbian newspaper Politika on Wednesday. Among other things, Dodik characterized the Srebrenica massacre as “the biggest stain on the Serbs and an act of cowardice,” and he calls for “a new international commission to establish the truth of what happened”. Balkan Insight quotes Munira Subasic of the Association of Mothers of the Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves as saying that numerous court verdicts have already clearly determined what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995. It also quotes President of the Women of Srebrenica Association Hajra Catic as saying that Dodik is trying to “change the facts about Srebrenica.” Both Subasic and Catic said they considered the idea of setting up a new commission 20 years after the crime…