Yearly Archives: 2016

Daily World News Digest, 3 November 2016

Amnesty International: EU policy leading to abuse of migrants

The Guardian reports today on research published by Amnesty International describing how European migration policies have led to the alleged torture, abuse and illegal deportation of asylum seekers arriving by boat in Italy, according to dozens of migrant testimonies published for the first time. Forty Sudanese migrants were also illegally deported to Sudan without recourse to proper asylum procedures, and at least one of them – a refugee from Darfur – was beaten by officials on his return, interviewees said. The alleged abuse is the natural outcome of the EU’s new migration strategy, according to Amnesty International, which conducted the research. The implementation of the EU “hotspot” system, which forces all migrants to be fingerprinted on arrival in Italy, and the failure of the EU’s relocation scheme, which has meant more refugees are housed in Italy and Greece than most EU…

Daily World News Digest, 2 November 2016

Italian prosecutor holds talks in Egypt over student’s killing

Reuters reported yesterday that on Tuesday Italian and Egyptian prosecutors discussed Egypt’s investigation into the killing of an Italian student, describing the talks as “positive”, after months of rising tension during which Rome complained about a lack of cooperation from Cairo. Giulio Regeni, who was doing postgraduate research into Egyptian trade unions, was last seen by his friends on 25 January. His body, showing signs of torture, was found in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of Cairo on 3 February. Amid accusations from rights groups that Egyptian security services appeared responsible for the 28-year-old Regeni’s death, Italy complained that Egyptian authorities were not cooperating in the search for the perpetrators. In April, Rome withdrew its ambassador to Cairo for consultations. Italian Deputy Chief Prosecutor Sergio Colaiocco met Egyptian Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek in Cairo on Tuesday and invited him to…

Daily World News Digest, 1 November 2016

Activists: Release of Detainees in Syria Crucial to Peace Process

Voice of America News reports today that Syrian opposition activists are urging the United Nations and the international community to push for the release of tens of thousands of detainees in Syria. Thye argue that this is critical in efforts to revive the moribund peace process. A delegation of representatives of the Syrian Opposition’s High Negotiations Committee has been meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura’s team to demand real and tangible progress on this issue. This is not the first time the group has broached this subject. Former president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Khaled Khoja told VOA that the release of detainees in Syria was a crucial confidence-building measure in the peace process. He said resolving this issue would improve the atmosphere around the negotiating table.


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…