Daily World News Digest, 5 February 2015

South Asian states urged to ratify UN convention on enforced disappearance

The Express Tribune in Pakistan reports today that legal experts and human rights activists meeting in Islamabad at a two-day conference organized by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the International Commission of Jurists, have called on South Asian countries, including Pakistan, to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. At the conference, delegates from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, India and Pakistan also urged countries in the region to implement recommendations made by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. http://bit.ly/1BWzl7c

More than 2,500 Colombian abduction cases presented to ICC

The Colombia Reports web portal reported on 4 February that more than 2,500 cases of disappearances allegedly perpetrated by the FARC rebel group have been presented to the International Criminal Court in The Hague by Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez. Ordonez said more than 1,200 cases of FARC-related enforced disappearance had taken place since 2002. Another 6,690 cases are registered, but without any attribution of responsibility. He said he is “confident that those responsible for these cases will be investigated, prosecuted and convicted.” http://bit.ly/1Ats0QW

Human rights strategy of Sri Lanka’s new government

The New York Times published an article on 4 February analyzing the likely human rights strategy of Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena. It notes that the incoming administration might accept UN assistance in trying perpetrators of the worst crimes committed at the end of the long war against ethnic Tamil guerrillas. However, new domestic institutions are unlikely to be in place before the UN Human Rights Council considers a report on Sri Lanka in late March. http://nyti.ms/1yL0N6L

Chilean court sentences 78 former Pinochet officials

The Latin American Tribune reported on 3 February that 78 former agents of the secret police in the Augusto Pinochet regime in Chile were sentenced on Monday for the abduction of Miguel Acuña, who disappeared in 1974. Among those sentenced were Manuel Contreras, the former head of DINA, the Chilean secret police under Pinochet. According to official figures, some 3,200 people were killed by police officers during the Pinochet dictatorship. Of these, 1,192 are reported to be still missing. http://bit.ly/1zPuXtY

Uruguay to adopt new approach to the issue of missing persons

MercoPress carried a long feature on 5 February describing a new approach to human rights and missing persons issues that will be adopted in Uruguay to deal with the legacy of the military dictatorship, (1973/1984) and the decade of armed sedition which preceded the collapse of the country’s democracy. The new strategy would replace “truth and justice” with “truth and memory”, following the model championed by Nobel Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa. http://bit.ly/1ud1KrT

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.