Daily World News Digest, 31 October 2017

Call for missing persons issue to be on agenda of Syrian peace talks

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has called for the issue of detainees and missing persons to be on the agenda of upcoming Geneva and Astana peace talks. The SNHR notes that past talks have not resulted in the release of any detainees. It points out that the first UN Security Council Resolutions to address Syria were 2041 and 2042 in April 2012, and both highlighted the political arrest and enforced-disappearance issue, while Resolution 2139 of February 2014 called for the immediate cease of enforced-disappearance practices, strongly condemning it, the same as paragraph 12 of Resolution 2254 in December 2015. However, none of these resolutions has been effective. http://bit.ly/2z08l0o

A mass grave uncovered near Benghazi in Libya.

A mass grave with at least 36 bodies has been uncovered near Benghazi in Libya. The victims appear to have been executed, but their identities are still unknown. Both of Libya’s rival administrations – the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and the government in the east led by Khalifa Haftar – have condemned the killings and promised to investigate. http://bit.ly/2zVtsxk

Burundi officially withdraws from the International Criminal Court

Burundi has withdrawn from the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a yearlong process. The authorities indicated their intention to withdraw from the Rome Statute on 27 October last year. Minister of Justice Aimée Laurentine Kanyana has described the ICC as “an instrument of pressure on the governments of poor countries, a way to destabilize them.” While government officials have welcomed the decision, families and victims’ associations have expressed disappointment. According to the UN commission of inquiry on Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza as well as several high authorities of the country might implicated in serious violations of human rights, even crimes against humanity. http://bit.ly/2z5JasF

Amnesty warns of Venezuela’s ‘illegal home raids’

Venezuelan authorities have used “illegal” raids on the homes of suspected political dissidents as part of an intimidation campaign, Amnesty International has charged in a new report. Local human rights groups have gathered accounts “of at least 47 raids and attacks on residential areas” across the country between April and July. Their accounts accuse security agents and other armed men – allegedly belonging to government-backed groups known as colectivos – of breaking down doors, smashing windows and demanding information about possible demonstrators. http://bit.ly/2ih01P5

UN needs “major rethink” on conflict prevention

The UN’s conflict prevention processes are in need of radical reform to ensure they start earlier, that they do not merely react to existing crises, and that they take human rights fully into account, UN Special Rapporteur on Transitional Justice Pablo de Greiff has told the UN General Assembly. The Special Rapporteur was presenting reform proposals designed to enhance UN efforts to prevent conflict and gross violations. http://bit.ly/2gY42LJ

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.