Daily World News Digest, 28 July 2015

Mexico: Macabre revelation on mass graves underscores Ayotzinapa disappearances failure

Amnesty International reported on 27 July that the latest confirmation that Mexican authorities have unearthed scores of mass graves in recent months during the search for 43 disappeared students underscores the enormity of the crisis of enforced disappearances faced in the country.  Mexico’s Federal Attorney General’s office has admitted that 60 mass graves with the remains of at least 129 people have been found in the southern state of Guerrero since last October. None of the bodies, which included 20 women and 109 men, belonged to the 43 students who went missing in Iguala that month. According to official figures, more than 25,700 people have disappeared or gone missing in Mexico in the past years, and almost half of them during the current administration of President Peña Nieto. http://bit.ly/1U2vgcQ

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams killing of disappearance victim in Sindh

The Pakistan Today carried a story on 27 July saying that the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave concern over the killing of a victim of enforced disappearance in Sindh, stating that the murder represented growing intolerance of all manners of disagreement in the country. In a statement issued on Monday, HRCP condemned the killing of Raja Dahir Bhambhro, who had reportedly been picked up by uniformed security forces personnel from his native village in Khairpur on 4 June. “The killing highlights the tendency by the security forces and police personnel to transgress the law. There can be no bigger crime than the agents of the state, who are under an obligation to protect people’s lives, take away citizens’ lives,” the Commission said. http://bit.ly/1Sb8r9g

Thailand: insurgents target Buddhist monks

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 27 July saying that the separatist insurgents in southern Thailand should immediately stop their attacks on civilians. On 25 July, an improvised explosive device (IED) was set off in Saiburi district of Pattani province, fatally injuring Buddhist monk Phra Ekkapol Sri-o-sod, wounding monk Phra Payom Suktri, 54, and seriously injuring three members of their military protection escort. In responding to the renewal of armed conflict in southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkla in 2004, government security forces and militias continue to commit killings, enforced disappearances, and torture with impunity. http://bit.ly/1MSZUkt

Seven African leaders forced to appear in court over past 30 years

Anadolu Agency carried a story on 27 July saying that seven African leaders had been forced to appear in court over past 30 years as the African continent continues its long and winding journey to democracy. After 19 months of investigation, Senegalese authorities in collaboration with the African Union indicted Habre in July 2013 for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and placed him under provisional detention. Moussa Dadis Camara will face charges of “complicity in extrajudicial killings, rape and enforced disappearances” related to suppression of opponents in 2009. At least 157 people were killed in the Guinean Massacre and hundreds injured, according to the UN, which also alleged that dozens of women had been raped and that hundreds of people had disappeared. http://bit.ly/1JrtSgF

Home secretary says missing persons data is hugely inflated in Balochistan

The Express Tribune reported on 27 July that some 853 bodies have been found in different parts of Balochistan, while 156 people have been listed as missing since 2010, as Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said on Monday. Durrani said the figures were in sharp contrast to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) claims that there are 8,000 missing persons. According to him, officials of the commission have only provided a list of 102 victims of enforced disappearances. Durrani claimed that the government is struggling with law and order solely in three districts—Gwadar, Turbat and Panjgur. Elsewhere in Balochistan, peace has taken a firm root. Still, according to the home department, as many as 93 incidents of sectarian violence have occurred in Balochistan since 2011 till date in which 563 people of the Hazara community have been killed and 648 wounded. http://bit.ly/1DL4Cvw

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.