Posts Categorized: Daily Digest

Daily World News Digest 10 January 2020

Mexico reopens Ayotzinapa investigation

A group of independent experts will be allowed to reopen its investigation into the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college in southern Mexico in 2014, AFP reports. The experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) will now be allowed to pick up where they left off when the former government refused to renew their mandate in 2016.

Malta court overturns conviction for migrant rescue

A Maltese court has overturned the conviction of a Claus Peter Reisch, the German captain of a ship belonging to a group known as Mission Lifeline, a humanitarian group focused on aiding migrants, The Jurist reports. A spokesperson for Mission Lifeline told the Associated Press in a statement that the verdict shows the world that rescuing migrants is “not a criminal thing, it’s a duty.”

Mexico: body parts found in Jalisco

Forensics officials in the western…

Daily World News Digest 9 January 2020

Pakistan: court rules against arbitrary detention

The Lahore High Court in Pakistan has ruled that the Defense Ministry’s 17 December detention of Advocate Inamur Rahim, a retired colonel and petitioner in multiple cases of missing persons, is against the law and has directed the authorities to release Rahim, who is being investigated for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act, as reported by Dawn.

Equatorial Guinea: arbitrary arrests

Amnesty International has called on the authorities in Equatorial Guinea to shed light on the fate and whereabouts of four opposition members who were reportedly abducted in South Sudan and transferred to Equatorial Guinea, where they are now being detained. Amnesty has documented cases of human rights defenders and activists facing arbitrary arrest in Equatorial Guinea or being apprehended and repatriated from neighboring countries.

Artificial Intelligence and missing persons

The Hindu newspaper reports on efforts to use Artificial Intelligence to trace missing persons…

Daily World News Digest 8 January 2020

Mexico: more than 61,000 missing

The Guardian reports that there are more than 61,000 missing persons in Mexico, according to new figures issued by the authorities. The figure cited by the government in January 2019 was just over 40,000.

Libya: thousands of disappearances

Aljazeera reports on armed groups in Libya who are abducting or arresting thousands of people, leaving their families with no idea of their whereabouts. It says the uncertain military situation has raised fears of a new round of casualties and human rights abuses.

Venezuela: “police responsible for extrajudicial killings”

An article in Pan Am Post describes an “epidemic of police violence” and extrajudicial executions in Venezuela. It says an investigation by the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence has revealed that at least 16,506 violent deaths were recorded in 2019 with a homicide rate of 60.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Refugee, migrant arrivals to Greece spike in…

Daily World News Digest 20 December 2019

Guatemala: identifying civil war victims

National Geographic reports on efforts to identify victims of Guatemala’s civil war. Through exhumations, forensic analysis, and DNA collection campaigns, scientists at the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation have identified nearly 3,500 of the disappeared.

A systematic missing persons process: lessons from Romania

AFP reports on the issue of mass graves during the 1989 revolution in Romania, showing how the absence of a systematic and law-based process can create chaos and misunderstanding when it comes to locating and identifying large numbers of missing persons.

Lebanon: arbitrary arrests

Amnesty International has called on the authorities in Lebanon to launch a thorough, independent and effective investigation into violence against protesters. Amnesty has documented incidents of unlawful and excessive use of force, as well as other human rights violations such as failure to protect peaceful protesters, arbitrary arrests and torture and ill-treatment.

UN urges Iran to end…

Daily World News Digest 19 December 2019

Egypt: Italian student’s disappearance

The BBC reports that Italian prosecutors have told the first session of a parliamentary inquiry that Egyptian officials sought to mislead the investigation into the death of Giulio Regeni, an Italian citizen. Regeni was doing research for his doctorate in Cairo when he went missing in January 2016. His body was found nine days later. Prosecutors said Egypt’s claims about Regeni’s death had either been contradicted by a post-mortem examination in Italy, or debunked.

From Libya to Europe

Voice of America reports on the experience of migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe from Libya. UNHCR cites beatings, rape, torture and kidnappings as common occurrences. In 2019, more than 1,200 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Philippines: convictions over massacre in 2009

A court in the Philippines has convicted more than 40 people including police officers and…

Daily World News Digest 18 December 2019

Pakistan: lawyer working on disappearances goes missing

The family of Inamur Raheem, a lawyer known for pursuing cases of people allegedly kidnapped by Pakistan’s security agencies, say he has been abducted from his residence, Radio Free Europe reports. Raheem, described as a vocal critic of security agencies, had reported being harassed by security agencies.

Western Balkans: warm welcome for convicted war criminals

Youth activists from Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia who have monitored the public prominence of war criminals in their countries over the past two years warn that convicted offenders are welcomed hom in a manner that encourages them to take an active part in political life, Balkan Insight reports. The Youth Initiative for Human Rights, YIHR, cites cases where government leaders and church officials have warmly welcomed war criminals on their release from prison.

Libya: disappearance of journalist

A Libyan press freedom group says the arrest of journalist Rida…

Daily World News Digest 17 December 2019

Accounting for the missing in the Western Balkans

Voice of America reports on a US State Department’s exchange study program on accounting for the missing in the Western Balkans. One of the participants, Samira Krehic, Deputy Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program explains how accounting for the missing is an investment in peace. (Video in B/C/S starts at 16:40)

Activist against enforced disappearances wins Franco-German Prize

Mary Aileen Bacalso, the former secretary-general of the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances, has won the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law for her work on behalf of victims of enforced disappearance and their families, Phil Star reports.

Malawi: extrajudicial killings by police

Police in Malawi have carried out extrajudicial killings in an anti-crime campaign, according to a report by the Center for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA), AFP reports. The CHREAA report cites extrajudicial killings of…

Daily World News Digest 16 December 2019

Iraq: mass grave containing remains of 643 civilians discovered

A mass grave containing the remains of 643 civilians been discovered near a former Da’esh battleground in Iraq, the Independent newspaper from the UK reports. Official sources have reportedly confirmed that the bodies, found along the side of a road 5km north of Fallujah, belonged to the al-Muhamdah tribe – a group that disappeared in 2016.

Mexico: 50 bodies exhumed from mass grave

The bodies of at least 50 people have been exhumed from a mass grave at a farm outside Guadalajara in wester Mexico, France 24 reports. According to the local prosecutor’s office, 13 bodies have been identified and the remains have been returned to their families.

Laos, Thailand urged to investigate enforced disappearances

On the seventh anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, dozens of civil society groups have urged the Lao and Thai…

Daily World News Digest 13 December 2019

Myanmar: “Why have our relatives disappeared?”

The BBC reports on Aung San Suu Kyi’s testimony this week before the International Court for Justice in The Hague. Thousands of Rohingya were killed and more than 700,000 fled to neighboring Bangladesh during the army crackdown in 2017 in Rakhine state. A young woman who said 10 members of her family had been killed by Myanmar’s military, told the BBC, “We have come here with courage to say this: if your forces didn’t do these acts, why would we have left the country and why have our relatives disappeared?”

Pakistan: Disappeared activist

Human Rights Watch has highlighted the disappearance of political activist and human rights defender Idris Khattak, who was abducted a month ago by unidentified armed men in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Khattak is a member of the National Party and a freelance researcher focusing on human rights.

Tanzania: Abuses of…

Daily World News Digest 12 December 2019

Mexico: mothers searching for their children

ABC News reports on a group of mothers in Mexico searching for mass graves in hopes of finding their missing children’s remains. The process of accounting for the missing, the report says, is encountering difficulties including inadequate forensic capacity. More than 200,000 Mexicans have been killed and more than 40,000 have been reported missing since 2006, according to the authorities.

Gambia: investigation into migrant deaths

A Ghanaian parliamentarian, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for the re-opening of investigations into the killing of 44 Ghanaian immigrants in The Gambia in 2005, All Africa reports. Some of those implicated in the killings have acknowledged their role in testimony before The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.

Gambia: Transitional Justice

The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission is exploring Reparations Regulations, All Africa reports. At a conference organized on the outskirts of the capital, Banjul, by International…