Daily World News Digest, 29 September 2017

Colombian general awaits transitional justice

A Colombian judge has ordered the release from custody of former army General Rito Alejo del Rio. Del Rio was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 for his role in a 1997 murder carried out by paramilitary forces in the Uraba region in the northwest of the country. He is also being investigated for the assassinations of an anti-corruption presidential candidate in 1995 and a popular activist comedian in 1999. Del Rio is now awaiting trial before a transitional justice tribunal after vowing to tell the truth about the war crimes he allegedly committed and offer reparation to victims. http://bit.ly/2yxoOFc

 Rwanda: post-election political crackdown

Rwandan authorities have arrested, forcibly disappeared, and threatened political opponents since the August 2017 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch said today. Those targeted include a would-be independent presidential candidate and her family members and supporters, and several leaders and members of the opposition. “Enforced disappearances, unlawful arrest and detention, and ill-treatment clearly violate Rwandan and international law,” HRW said, adding that it has documented numerous cases in recent years in which government critics “have been held in military detention and often tortured or ill-treated in attempt to get information or force confessions”. http://bit.ly/2xPDT89

Enforced disappearance in Bangladesh

A meeting of Bangladesh’s Human Rights Forum to discuss a report that will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council before 5 October as part of the universal periodic review process, has been told that the state has failed to stop extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said the government should make required legal changes to end extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance. “Although the government reiterated its ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on extrajudicial killing, in reality this type of killing has been recurring alarmingly,” he said, noting that 823 persons were victims of such killings between 2013 and June 2017. http://bit.ly/2fBwMt4

Human rights campaigners from Kashmir awarded Rafto Prize

Two prominent Kashmiri civil rights campaigners have been awarded the Norway-based Rafto Prize for human rights for 2017. Parveena Ahangar is head of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) in Kashmir. She has campaigned against enforced custodial disappearances since her son was picked up by Indian forces in 1990 and never returned. Parvez Imroz is the founder of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), which has published detailed reports about enforced disappearances and identified perpetrators of state violence in Kashmir. http://bit.ly/2fDzfDr

Human smuggling and trafficking in eastern Sudan

CMI, a research institute from Norway, has published a report on migration to Europe from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia via Sudan. Noting that most causes of human smuggling and trafficking “are multi-dimensional and primarily developmental”, it concludes that “addressing the basic needs of vulnerable groups is an important shield for them against abuse and exploitation. These needs may be part of an overall development plan and not specific project, which can help cultivate hope and confidence in the future among these groups in areas with a high incidence of smuggling and trafficking.” http://bit.ly/2yMrqzQ

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.