Daily World News Digest, 7 November 2017

Arbitrary arrests continue in Syria

In its monthly report for October, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) says there were 5,397 cases of arbitrary arrest in Syria between the start of 2017 and the beginning of November. It says arbitrary arrests in October were notable for Syrian regime forces’ almost daily arrests involving civilians in areas under the regime’s control, focused on the 18-42 age group for the purpose of conscription, and activists’ and armed opposition fighters’ families. SNHR says Da’esh and Self-Management forces have also continued to carry out arbitrary arrests. The report says at least 588 individuals were arrested in October, including 426 arrests by Syrian regime forces, 78 by Self-Management forces, and 41 by Da’esh. http://bit.ly/2zjgiOf

Colombia: peace legislation pending in Congress

Legislation to establish the framework for implementing the November 2016 peace agreement is now pending in Colombia’s Congress, including key laws to establish the transitional justice system known as the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz – JEP) and a reform designed to facilitate the participation of former FARC guerrillas in politics. In a final push to establish the legal framework, Colombian Interior Minister Guillermo Rivera has called on congressional leaders to hold plenary sessions five days a week during November instead of the normal two. http://bit.ly/2zDvJ4w

Wave of killings threatens civil society work in Colombia

Civil society actors, local activists, and indigenous leaders have been victims of dozens of murders in recent months in Colombia. Local NGOs and their international partners warn that unless civil leaders are protected and the perpetrators brought to justice, the violence will put the country’s peace process in doubt. The current wave of murders marks a chilling increase in the bloodshed that began in 2015 when the peace negotiations showed signs of breakthrough. In 2014, 78 leaders and activists were killed. That figure jumped to more than 100 the following year. In 2016, 116 social leaders and human rights defenders were killed, according to local conflict-monitoring NGO Indepaz. http://bit.ly/2hK8avZ

Amnesty International calls on Pakistan to end enforced disappearances

Amnesty International has called on the authorities in Pakistan to end enforced disappearances with immediate effect. Alarmed by reports it has received on enforced disappearances, particularly of activists in the southwestern province of Balochistan, Amnesty has urged the government in Islamabad to carry out independent and effective investigations to determine the fate of all missing people. The Commission on Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances received nearly 300 cases of alleged enforced disappearances from August to October 2017, by far the largest number during a three-month period in recent years. http://bit.ly/2zmBRLe

Yazidis in Iraq: “the genocide is ongoing”

With local and international attention diverted to the ongoing battle against Da’esh in Iraq and Syria, local activists say that the momentum behind an organized aid response for Yazidis appears to have dissipated. Wahda, a Yazidi woman who was kept in detention alongside her daughter, draws attention to the lack of psychological assistance for victims. http://bit.ly/2zpi4uZ

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.