Daily World News Digest, 13 December 2017

Arbitrary detentions in Ukraine

In a report published on 12 December, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that increased fighting in eastern Ukraine resulted in at least 15 deaths and 72 injuries among civilians from 16 August to 15 November. The report details 20 cases of killings, deprivation of liberty, enforced disappearances, torture, and conflict-related sexual violence committed on both sides. In territory controlled by armed groups, the report said, “arbitrary detentions and ‘prosecutions’ were compounded by the lack of recourse to effective remedy.” http://bit.ly/2kqCQDm

Gambia debates truth, reconciliation and reparations

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged Gambia’s National Assembly to amend the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission bill to prohibit amnesties for those responsible for extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, rape, or torture, in accordance with international law and practice. http://bit.ly/2AdhbVO

Irish government examines options for dealing with mass grave

A technical report being considered by Ireland’s Cabinet lists five options for dealing with a mass grave of babies and children discovered earlier this year at a home run by nuns in the town of Tuam in County Galway. They include making the site a memorial and suspending further investigative work. Another option would see a full forensic and archaeological excavation of all the grounds once occupied by the home, which includes a playground and a car park. Costs range from €100,000 to €5 million. The expert technical group notes that it will be impossible to get DNA identification of infants and young juveniles without samples from living relatives. http://bit.ly/2C4w2TM

Syrian peace talks discuss detentions and missing persons

The unified Syrian opposition delegation in peace talks in Geneva has insisted on having direct talks with the regime delegation to end the crisis in the country. The latest round of talks began on 28 November and will continue until 14 December. The negotiations’ “four baskets” — a new constitution, governance, elections and combating terrorism — have been discussed, as well as issues such as detainees, abductees, missing persons and humanitarian access. http://bit.ly/2BaQGU5

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff. These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.