Posts Categorized: Daily Digest

Daily World News Digest 16 January 2020

ICMP assists with identification of 1989 Central Texas shooting victim

Work by the International Commission on Missing Persons in cooperation with the DNA Doe Project and the Williamson County Texas Sheriff’s Office has enabled the identification of a woman who was found shot to death in September 1989 in Williamson County, Texas, KWTX reports. ICMP used its specialized methods for DNA extraction of highly degraded samples, and recovered enough DNA for genetic genealogy analysis to be conducted. A tentative identification of Sue Ann Huskey was made in December and was confirmed after a member of Huskey’s family provided a DNA sample.

Enforced disappearance in Bangladesh

The Daily Star from Bangladesh covers the latest Human Rights Watch report on the country, which finds that in 2019, although the government denied involvement in enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and other violations, “security forces persisted with a long-standing pattern of covering up…

Daily World News Digest 15 January 2020

Burundi: More than 4,000 mass graves uncovered

More than 4,000 mass graves have been found in Burundi following an investigation by the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission into conflicts since independence in 1962, the BBC reports. The commission, set up in 2018 to shed light on ethnic tensions, says it has identified 142,505 victims. According to Commission Chairperson many more mass graves are yet to be found because people who know about them are afraid to talk or are traumatized.

Nearly 1,000 migrants “returned to Libya” this year

Aljazeera reports that almost 1,000 refugees and migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to war-ravaged Libya already this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM said most of the refugees and migrants were “disembarked in Tripoli and all were taken to detention centers”. About 4,500 people are currently held in “official” detention centers across Libya. Thousands more…

Daily World News Digest 14 January 2020

Latest figures reported for Mexico mass grave

AFP reports that the bodies of at least 29 people have been unearthed from a mass grave on a property outside Mexico’s western city of Guadalajara, in Jalisco – a state hard-hit by violence linked to organized crime, and the same area where authorities have found a total of 80 bodies since November. Nearly 2,500 murders were reported in the state between January and November last year.

Enforced disappearance, other rights violations in China

Radio Free Asia reports on the refusal by immigration authorities in Hong Kong to allow Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth to enter the territory on Sunday. Roth was due to present a report on China’s human rights record. “My denial of entry pales in comparison to the harassment that Chinese activists routinely endure – jail, torture, and enforced disappearance simply for trying to secure basic rights for…

Daily World News Digest 13 January 2020

Migrants missing on US border

The Guardian reports on efforts by experts and students from the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University to exhume and identify the remains of migrants who have died “from exposure, thirst or illness in the wilderness” and been buried on the US-Mexico border. The project’s mission statement notes that “alarming numbers of deceased persons have been buried as ‘unknown’ without proper analysis or DNA collection, leaving no hope for identification or repatriation.”

Nepal: transitional justice

Victims of the decade-long civil war in Nepal say the government is reviving the stalled transitional justice process without adequately considering the voice of victims, as consultations on relevant legislation are being held at provincial rather than village level, Aljazeera reports. More than 16,000 people were killed and about 1,400 disappeared during the conflict, which ended in 2006.

Migrants drown trying to reach Greece, Italy

Eleven migrants, eight…

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…