Daily World News Digest, 20 March 2018

Ukraine: victims of enforced disappearance seek justice

Victims of arbitrary detention in government-controlled secret prisons in eastern Ukraine face new, serious obstacles to justice, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. At least five detainees held in secret facilities run by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) in 2015 and 2016 filed complaints against the authorities for their enforced disappearance, torture, and other ill-treatment used to extract forced confessions, and subsequent unlawful detention. “People held for months in Ukraine’s secret detention sites endured serious abuse,” said Tanya Cooper, Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Almost two years later, facing a wall of denial from the authorities, they are as far from justice as when they were detained.” http://bit.ly/2u25a75

ICMP’s laboratory system in The Hague is operational

The ICMP laboratory system in The Hague became fully operational this month and all the samples received from BiH have been delivered to ICMP for processing. It is yet unknown when the first DNA reports could be expected in BiH. Kada Hotić, a member of the Association “Mother of the Enclave of Srebrenica and Žepa” says that nothing has changed as a result of the laboratory transition and that families of the missing are waiting for the results as before. (Article in BCS) http://bit.ly/2GKjZ0K

UN rights chief: Syria siege involved war crimes

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has told an informal meeting of the Security Council that the Syrian government’s five-year siege of the Damascus suburbs of eastern Ghouta involved “pervasive war crimes,” use of chemical weapons and starvation as a weapon of war. He urged the Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court. http://bit.ly/2G7Hbbj

Pakistan urged to resolve cases of enforced disappearances

Amnesty International has urged the government of Pakistan to resolve hundreds of cases of enforced disappearances as the UN Human Rights Council adopts the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan. Amnesty welcomed Pakistan’s acceptance of recommendations to make enforced disappearance a criminal offence. However, it expressed concern over the country’s failure to accept several recommendations to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. http://bit.ly/2psmXzm

UN: Philippines’ pullout from ICC will take effect in one year

The UN has confirmed that it has received official notification of the Philippines’ decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, a move that follows the tribunal’s announcement of a preliminary probe of drug suspect killings. The document constitutes a notification under the Rome Statute that established the court, and withdrawal will consequently take effect on 17 March 2019. http://abcn.ws/2u2j3C5

Bodies of 39 abducted Indian workers killed by Da’esh found in mass grave

Three years after they went missing, Indian workers who were abducted by Da’esh in Mosul, Iraq, have been confirmed dead by the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The Indian government says it conducted a search and identification exercise with the help of Iraqi government. http://bit.ly/2IDJW2D

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.