Daily World News Digest, 15 December 2016

UN: summary executions, enforced disappearances in Aleppo

The New Arab reports today that the United Nation’s Commission of Inquiry for Syria (COI) said Wednesday it had noted the grave allegations levelled against pro-government forces in Aleppo, including “summary executions, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and forced conscription”. The commission said Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government was now in “effective control” of eastern Aleppo, a former rebel stronghold, and therefore had “primary responsibility” for ensuring that violations in the city are stopped. And, with the deal struck late Tuesday for the evacuation of rebels from Aleppo on hold, the COI echoed a call made across the humanitarian community that civilians be allowed to leave conflict zones safely. http://bit.ly/2hzajJB

Launch of the ICMP Guide for families of the missing in Kosovo

Gazeta Express carried an article yesterday about the launch of the new ICMP Guide for families of the Missing Persons in Kosovo, which explains the rights of families of missing persons, which are prescribed by domestic legislation, including access to social and economic benefits and other forms of reparation. It also explains the roles and responsibilities of international and domestic institutions and organizations involved in the process of accounting for missing persons. The Guide is one of the key outputs of the EU funded project “Support to Resolving Missing Persons Cases – Breaking the Impasse” which is implemented by ICMP. http://bit.ly/2hQAJpw

Philippines’ Duterte admits personally killing suspects

The BBC reported yesterday that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted he personally killed criminal suspects as mayor of Davao. It is the first such admission he has made since becoming president in June, but echoes comments he made in 2015. He ran the southern city for two decades, earning a reputation for cutting crime, and criticism for allegedly supporting death squads. Mr Duterte was speaking to business leaders at the presidential palace on Monday, before an overseas trip. http://bbc.in/2gZxsDX 

How forensic anthropologists are helping the families of Mexico’s disappeared seek justice

Science carried an article yesterday on a group of anthropologist who are independently trying to help families of missing persons in Mexico. In 2013, Roxana Enríquez Farias founded a nonprofit organization called the Mexican Forensic Anthropology Team (EMAF) based in Mexico City. EMAF anthropologists often serve as expert witnesses, evaluating state investigations of disappearances. The article describes how Enríquez Farias explains to families of the missing the steps that need to be taken in order to search for the disappeared, and how to use their searches to pressure the authorities into action. “We want to build the base [of knowledge] that will support their right to truth and justice,” Enríquez Farias says. http://bit.ly/2hz9aBK

Remains of political prisoners hanged in South Africa are exhumed and returned to families

The Daily Mail released an article yesterday about the remains of political prisoners hanged in South Africa which have been exhumed so that they can be returned to their families. The Gallows Exhumation Project was launched in March this year. It was preceded by a visit to Pretoria Central Maximum Security Prison, where the execution of political and non-political prisoners was carried out between 1960 and 1990. At least 130 political prisoners were hanged for political related offences between 1960 and 1990. Of these, 47 have already been exhumed while 83 are still buried in unmarked graves. http://dailym.ai/2hIr605

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.