Monthly Archives: October 2016

Daily World News Digest, 31 October 2016

Kenya: police accused of enforced disappearances

MediaMax, a news network from Kenya, reports today that Kenya National Human Rights Commission Vice Chair George Morara has said the agency will present a report to the National Assembly after investigating matters of extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrests and brutality by police officers and security forces in Kwale, the coastal district in southeast Kenya. Morara said many residents in the area are living “in fear and suspicion”. 

Fear and suspicion haunt Sinjar

The Guardian carries an article today about the Yazidi community in Iraq, “which still feels ghostly and abandoned”. It says the lack of recovery and shattered trust in this community serve as “a bleak warning of challenges ahead for Mosul region”. Sinjar and the region around it in northern Iraq, a center for the minority Yazidi group and symbol of their suffering under Da’esh, was liberated nearly a…

Daily World News Digest, 28 October 2016

Slovenia reburies 800 bodies from post-WWII mass grave

Stars and Stripes carried a story yesterday on Thursday’s reburial in Slovenia of the remains of some 800 people found in a mass grave containing the bodies of thousands believed killed in the aftermath of World War II by the communist authorities. The remains were laid to rest in a memorial park in Maribor, northeastern Slovenia, alongside other victims of post-WWII summary executions. The victims are believed to be mostly Croats and Slovenes from WWII pro-Nazi groups killed by the victorious communists. Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic laid a wreath as part of commemoration ceremonies. Grabar Kitarovic said the victims of communist executions should be treated with dignity. “Historic truth must be established because it presents a basis for a better future,” said Grabar Kitarovic. “Each victim deserves respect.” The so-called Huda Jama mass grave was discovered in 2009 in an…

Daily World News Digest, 27 October 2016

Mediterranean crossings three times deadlier this year

The Washington Post carried an article today analyzing the very high mortality rate of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, stating that the number of people who have died this year trying to reach Europe via smuggling routes across the Mediterranean Sea has surpassed last year’s total. A spokesman for the United Nations’ refugee agency said that 3,800 had died attempting the voyage this year, though only about a third as many as last year have tried to make the crossing. This points to a change in migration dynamics that has made reaching Europe three times deadlier. It says the reasons include “the unintended consequences of hard-nosed decisions by governments”, as well as “the inevitable consequences of reckless decisions by smugglers”.

Almost 100 missing after boat carrying migrants sinks off Libyan coast

Sputnik News reported today that as many as 97 people are missing after…

Daily World News Digest, 26 October 2016

530 missing persons reported in Malta in 2016

The Malta Independent reported yesterday that Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela has confirmed that 530 people have been reported missing in Malta in 2016, 15 of whom are still missing. Responding to a parliamentary question by MP Silvio Schembri, Abela said that 362 of the missing persons were women and 168 were men. The ages of the missing persons varied, but most are under the age of 20 with a total of 359 reported cases, three of whom are still missing.    

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 328,225; Deaths at Sea: 3,671

Relief Web carried a story yesterday on an IOM report stating that 328,225 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 23 October, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy. Some 169,302 people have arrived in Greece and 153,450 in Italy during 2016. The total…

Daily World News Digest, 25 October 2016

More than 2,000 migrants rescued from Mediterranean in one day

Radio New Zealand carries a story today reporting that 2,200 migrants were plucked to safety and 16 bodies were recovered from the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. A statement from the coastguard said its ships, as well as fishing boats, merchant ships and vessels from humanitarian organisations took part in 21 separate operations. More than 3100 people have gone missing or died this year while trying to use the central Mediterranean route to reach Europe by boat, the International Organization for Migration estimates. Monday’s missions rescued migrants on 18 rubber boats and three small crafts, the statement said. Last year more than one million migrants – many fleeing the civil war in Syria – arrived in Europe. An EU-Turkey pact to try to stop migrants crossing to Greece and moves by Balkan nations to close their borders have driven down the number…

Daily World News Digest, 24 October 2016

Pakistan: Interior Ministry denies it is holding missing software engineer

The Express Tribune reported on 22 October that while denying any involvement in the abduction of an Islamabad resident, the Ministry of Interior suggested that the Islamabad High Court direct the petitioner to approach the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to trace the missing person. In its reply submitted to the court, the ministry said that 300 cases of missing persons have already been transferred by the court to the commission in 2016, and that the petitioner can seek an alternate remedy from the commission formed to account for missing persons. Mehmood, a software engineer who ran a small IT company in the capital along with his wife, was allegedly abducted from his home on the evening of 14 March. Counsel for Mrs Mehmood said he was picked up “amidst circumstances which strongly suggest that this is a case…

Daily World News Digest, 21 October 2016

Italian authorities coordinate rescue of 1,400 migrants off Libya

The Japan Times reports today that some 1,400 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean were rescued Thursday off the coast of Libya, according to the Italian coast guard, which coordinated the operations conducted mainly by aid ships. Attempts at the dangerous crossing are continuing despite worsening weather as winter approaches, with more than 2,400 migrants rescued off Libya in total since Sunday. The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres tweeted that it had rescued 802 people on six rubber dinghies and one small wooden boat, and MOAS, a Maltese NGO, said it had rescued 432 migrants on three dinghies. Italian coast guards and the crew of an EU counter-trafficking vessel rescued the remaining migrants. According to the U.N., at least 3,654 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year. Meanwhile, it emerged Thursday that as many as 900 migrants may…

Daily World News Digest, 20 October 2016

Call for China to release abducted Swedish bookseller

Eurasia Review reports today that Human Rights Watch has called on the Chinese government immediately to release Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai, who disappeared from Thailand a year ago and reappeared in custody in China. The Chinese government has provided little information about the enforced disappearances and detentions of Gui and four other bookseller colleagues in Thailand, Hong Kong, and China. “A full year has gone by, yet all that’s clear is that Chinese authorities have grossly violated the rights of the five booksellers both within and outside China’s borders,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “China’s willingness to snatch people in Thailand and Hong Kong with the apparent involvement of their governments adds to the concerns.”

Yazidis wait to learn the fate of loved ones in Mosul

Fox News reported yesterday thatCAIRO as the highly anticipated assault…

Daily World News Digest, 19 October 2016

Burundi President signs decree to quit the International Criminal Court

Reuters published an article yesterday on President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, who signed a decree on Tuesday taking his country out of the International Criminal Court, after parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to remove the country from the court’s jurisdiction. The move is unprecedented in a continent whose leaders often complain that the court disproportionately targets Africans. On 12 October, just two lawmakers voted in favor of staying under the jurisdiction of the Dutch-based ICC, while 94 voted against and 14 abstained. In April, the ICC opened a preliminary investigation into Burundi, focusing on killings, imprisonment, torture, rape and other sexual violence, as well as enforced disappearances. Burundi’s government was infuriated last month by a U.N. report that named officials accused of orchestrating the torture and killing political opponents. Since then, Bujumbura has banned three U.N. investigators from its territory…

Daily World News Digest, 18 October 2016

Hong Kong’s Unsolved Mystery

SBS reports today that five men linked to an anti-establishment bookstore in Hong Kong disappeared last year, with many suspecting Chinese involvement. Dateline investigates their case and talks to the daughter of one of the disappeared men, who is speaking out for truth and justice. Gui Minhai, is a China-born Swedish scholar and book publisher. On October 17, 2015 he disappeared, and his whereabouts has been unknown ever since. At the time of his disappearance, he had been last seen in the Thai resort town of Pattaya, leaving his apartment building with an unidentified man who had been waiting and watching the building. It was among a string of disappearances, all linked to a bookstore in downtown Hong Kong. Causeway Bay Books is now empty and unattended, but for years it published books on China’s leaders, and other material considered transgressive by Chinese authorities and banned…