Malaysia: missing pastor’s wife to sue police
Free Malaysia Today reports that Susanna Liew is to take legal action against the authorities in Malaysia in connection with the disappearance, on 13 February 2017, of her husband, Pastor Raymond Koh. This follows a suit filed four months ago by Norhayati Mohd Ariffin, the wife of activist Amri Che Mat, who has been missing since December 2016. Both men have been declared victims of enforced disappearance by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, which says they were abducted by police.
Mexico: missing persons search commission in Sonora
Arizona Public Media reports that the Mexican state of Sonora has established a commission to supervise the search for missing persons. Data released by the National Search Commission shows that the state has more than 2,000 missing or disappeared people. Ninety clandestine graves with more than 140 bodies were found in Sonora in 2019, the fourth-highest…
Rohingya migrants missing in Bay of Bengal
At least 15 Rohingya migrants have died and dozens are missing after a trawler carrying them to Malaysia capsized in the Bay of Bengal, the Dhaka Tribune reports. Large numbers of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have sought shelter in Bangladesh. However, the paper notes that many refugees, mostly women and children, have been lured abroad in dangerous conditions by traffickers.
Amber Alert: accounting for missing children in the US
ABC News 4 reports on the Amber Alert system, which has helped to locate 967 children in the US since it was inaugurated in 1996. In 2018, the system was directly related to successful recovery in 71 percent of family abductions and 25 percent of non-family abductions.
Activists detained in Egypt
Human Rights Watch reports on the detention earlier this month of Patrick George Zaki, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights…
Syria: enforced disappearances by Da’esh
Human Rights Watch has released a 57-page report highlighting 27 cases of enforced disappearance under Da’esh in Syria. HRW is urging the Syrian authorities to prioritize the effort to account for the missing and protect mass graves, and share information with families of the missing.
Bangladesh: extrajudicial killings
New Age Bangladesh reports that the human rights organization Odhikar has documented 391 extrajudicial killings in 2019. Despite “extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and violation of freedom of expression and assembly,” it says the country’s National Human Rights Commission has failed to address these grave human rights violations.
UN Working Group examines enforced disappearances
MENA FN reports on the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances meeting in Geneva this week. It notes that more than 530 cases of enforced disappearance from 32 countries will be examined.
Spanish vessels rescue 119 migrants; 67 still missing
Disappearances of activists in the Philippines
The Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has highlighted an “alarming number of attacks on human rights defenders” in the form of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, defamation, criminalization and illegal detention, the Manila Times reports. The CHR has called on the authorities “to cease stigmatization” of activists.
Kenya: enforced disappearances
Standard Media reports on efforts to identify human remains of people believed to have been victims of extrajudicial killings in southeastern Kenya. Describing systemic rights violations in the country, the article notes that Human Rights Watch documented 21 extrajudicial killings in two suburbs of the capital, Nairobi, in 2018.
Mali: extrajudicial killings
Human Rights Watch reports 456 civilian deaths in Mali between January and November 2019 as a result of extrajudicial killings “ranging from organized village massacres, selective execution based on ethnicity, kidnapping, blowing up and burning people alive”.
Amherst, NY: reburial of unidentified remains…
El Salvador: victims of 1982 massacre identified
Human remains of victims of a 1982 massacre have been returned to families in El Salvador following identification by the country’s forensic institute, Infosurhoy reports. More than 200 rural residents, mostly women and children and the elderly, were killed by soldiers in August 1982 at a place in San Vicente Department in central El Salvador known as “the Dungeon”, El Calabozo.
Mexico: killing of activists
In an interview with Public Radio International, the director of Amnesty International Americas, Erika Guevara Rosas, says the killing of environmental activists in Mexico has been “normalized”. Noting that in 2019, Amnesty documented that at least 12 environmental defenders were killed in different parts of the country, she said “impunity remains the norm”.
Srebrenica: remembering victims through new exhibition
Radio Free Europe reports on an initiative to gather personal items from family members of the more than 8,000…
Tulsa in April to Excavate Cemetery in Search for 1921 Massacre Graves
The New York Times reports on the decision by Mayor G.T. Bynum of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to begin excavations at a site where victims of a 1921 massacre of African-Americans may be buried. A local lawyer and newspaper publisher said that for years citizens have been asking city leaders to do this: “The fact that our mayor is doing it when requests have been made of other mayors, the fact that he’s taking it seriously and making an effort . . . is something I think is very important rather than ignoring and trying to bury the memory.”
Kashmir: campaigner for the disappeared
The UrduPoint news portal from Pakistan has published a profile of Perveena Ahangar, a 51-year old activist who campaigns in support of efforts to account for those who have gone missing in Kashmir. Perveena’s teenage son…
Missing Nigerian activist
Premium Times reports on the case of social media activist Abubakar Idris, who was abducted from his home in Kaduna State in northern Nigeria on 2 August 2019 and is still missing. Among other things, the article notes that since Nigeria does not have a national missing persons database, accounting for missing citizens “is at best a daunting task”.
Deportees to El Salvador go missing
In a report published today, Human Rights Watch says that migrants deported to El Salvador from the US are at risk of abuse and death. HRW cites more than 70 instances where deportees have been subjected to sexual violence, torture, or other harm, or have gone missing following their return.
US: Colorado Missing Persons Day
The US state of Colorado has marked its fifth Missing Persons Day, the Denver Channel reports. The names of more than 500 missing persons were read out…
Western Balkans: accounting for those who are still missing
At a meeting of the regional Missing Persons Group (MPG), representatives of institutions responsible for this issue in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia “made key decisions on joint activities in 2020” that will contribute to accounting for those who are still missing from the conflicts of the 1990s, Portal Analitika reports. The MPG is supported by the International Commission on Missing Persons, as part of a UK-funded regional program (Original article in B/C/S).
Kenya: mortuaries address issue of unidentified human remains
All Africa reports on the rising number of unidentified human remains being stored at mortuaries in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. It says 65 out of 108 bodies currently stored at two mortuaries in the city have not yet been identified. The local authorities are urging families of missing persons to come forward and help in the identification…
Kenya: national park a “mass grave”
Victims of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings in Kwale County on Kenya’s southeastern coast, have been found in the Tsavo West National Park, the Star from Kenya reports. It says eight sets of human remains have been found at the park and transferred to a mortuary by family members and officials of the Haki Africa and Human Development Agenda lobby groups.
Thailand: law on enforced disappearance
The Bangkok Post reports on a renewed effort by civil society groups in Thailand to support a bill on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearances. Although Thailand signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in 2012, it has not yet ratified the agreement and enforced it in law.
Arizona: missing Indigenous men
The Columbian reports on growing efforts in Arizona to highlight the issue of missing indigenous men and to…
Mexico: activist’s body found
CNN reports that the body of missing Mexican conservationist and activist Homero Gomez Gonzalez has been found in a well in Ocampo, Michoacán. Gomez had been missing since 13 January. Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador described Gomez’s death as “lamentable and painful”. The country’s Human Rights Commission said Gomez may have come into conflict with illegal loggers while carrying out his conservation work.
Mexico: accounting for the missing is “a moral issue”
The National Catholic Reporter explores the “moral issue” of accounting for more than 61,000 missing persons in Mexico. Ameglio Patella, a professor at Mexico City’s National Autonomous University, stresses that, “It is critical that we not leave the families and their organizations on their own”.
Ethiopians protest abduction of students
Ethiopians have taken to the streets and social networks to protest the failure of their government to find at least a dozen university students…