Daily World News Digest, 11 April 2016

Officials in northern Mexican city hope experts can help find missing

Fox News Latino reported on 10 April that Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, a city in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, has a long history of unsolved disappearances, but the relatives of the missing have not given up hope and are asking the government to allow Argentine experts to examine the remains found in mass graves in the area. Mass graves have been found in three places near Ciudad Cuauhtemoc in recent years. Last Thursday, relatives and activists met with Mexican Undersecretary for Human Rights Roberto Campa, who assured them that the remains pending analysis would be protected until a final agreement was reached on examining them. http://bit.ly/1qCVERd

Egypt Interior Ministry investigates 12 more cases of enforced disappearances

Daily News Egypt reported on 9 April that Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar ordered to investigate more complaints presented by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) on alleged enforced disappearances. In an official statement on Saturday, the Interior Ministry said that it has examined 12 new cases in which families claim their relatives have gone missing and were suspected to have been arrested under the practice of enforced disappearance. The total number of cases examined so far is now 272, according to ministry figures. By late March, the ministry said it examined 260 cases of alleged enforced disappearances. http://bit.ly/1S4ztwi

Human Rights Watch warns that EU trade pact with Turkmenistan advances minus rights progress

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 11 April saying that the EU is moving ahead on a key trade agreement with Turkmenistan even though the government has failed to meet related human rights benchmarks. The government refuses to acknowledge the enforced disappearances in the prison system over many years – of more than 100 people, many of them former public figures. It continues to arrest and imprison people on politically motivated grounds. Several thousand people, most of them relatives of imprisoned or exiled critics of the government, have been intimidated and prevented from seeking justice for their loved ones. http://bit.ly/1WmO09E

The world looks away as blood flows in Burundi

The Guardian reported on 10 April that more than a quarter of a million people have fled in terror as opposition militias plot their return. Torture, assault, abduction and murder fill the stories of those who have fled. Survivors warn that, as the violence spirals and rumors grow of opposition militias training in neighboring countries, a government fearful of losing its grip has resorted to the poisonous ethnic propaganda that fueled the country’s past wars and the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Yet the world doesn’t seem to have noticed. There is little sense of international urgency about halting Burundi’s disintegration, and aid groups say there is even less interest in funding food and shelter for victims. http://bit.ly/1SHjgdX

Skulls of Soviet WWII soldiers are uncovered in middle of a German village

The Daily Mail carried a story on 9 April saying that a volunteer group which works to recover the bodies of fallen soldiers in Eastern Europe has unearthed the skulls of Soviet soldiers at a mass grave in Brandenburg, Germany. The grave, which contains the remains of 20 Russian servicemen from the Second World War, is located in the small village of Alt Tucheband and was discovered last summer. In Eastern Europe and Russia there are approximately two million missing Germans, and many mass graves remain to be found. Almost half million German soldiers have been buried in new graves since the end of the Cold War. http://dailym.ai/1oPK7w5

Expert warns Ayotzinapa signals return to authoritarian Mexico

Telesur news portal reported on 10 April that the head of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights claims Mexico has tried to discredit independent investigations working on the Ayotzinapa case. “If the Mexican government goes in the opposite direction of human rights, it goes it the opposite direction of democracy, in a context of its decline or impairment,” said Emilio Alvarez Icaza. Last month, Mexican prosecutors launched an investigation into Alvarez Icaza over alleged fraud linked to the Ayotzinapa case. Although authorities ruled not to lay charges, the IACHR expert says the process has been part of a campaign by the Mexican state to harass and discredit independent experts seeking justice in the Ayotzinapa case. http://bit.ly/1qh5c3N

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.