Daily World News Digest, 31 May 2016

Migrants rescued off Lefkada on Greece-Italy sea route

The BBC, reports today that Greek rescuers have picked up 29 migrants at sea off the western island of Lefkada as they headed for Italy. It is the first time migrants have been rescued trying to cross from Greece to Italy since Greece’s land border with Macedonia was closed in March. The migrants had sailed from Lefkada and were picked up about 15 nautical mile (27km) from the island. Two children, aged four and five, were among the group. In the past week the focus has switched to the central Mediterranean, because of a surge in the numbers of migrants making the long, perilous voyage from Libya to Lampedusa and Sicily. http://bbc.in/1WVSDc0

Nepal: Number of complaints of disappearances exceed official data

The Himalayan Times reports today that the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons has received more disappearance-related complaints than the number recorded in the government data. The CIEDP has collected at least 1,523 complaints of enforced disappearances that occurred during the Maoist insurgency. “The number of complaints has surpassed the official record of disappearances,” CIEDP spokesperson Prof Bishnu Pathak said. As per the government’s record, a total of 1,495 citizens were identified as forcibly disappeared by the warring parties, the state or the Maoists during the conflict. http://bit.ly/1OZQvrM

UN supervising exhumation of Mexico mass graves

Anadolu News Agency carried a story today saying that four U.N. observers have arrived in Mexico to supervise the exhumation of 116 bodies from two mass graves. The clandestine graves in the town of Tetelcingo, in the central state of Morelos, were dug illegally in March 2014 by former workers from the office of the state prosecutor. According to the Morelos prosecutor’s office, the bodies were dumped in the graves without following proper procedure from the state’s morgues. Officials said they were all unclaimed bodies. http://bit.ly/1sYkmNo

Families of mass grave victims prep rights case against Mexico

Telesur reported on 30 May that families of the assumed victims uncovered in a mass grave in the town of Tetelcingo, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, are preparing to file a human rights case against the local government. The complaint will be submitted to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, IACHR, once experts complete the exhumation and forensic analysis of the estimated 150 bodies illegally buried in the clandestine grave. http://bit.ly/1PeFYP1

Hissène Habré found guilty of crimes against humanity

The Independent reported on 30 May that in “Africa’s trial of the century” the former dictator of Chad has been found guilty in connection with a reign of terror involving rape, torture and mass murder. One estimate suggested that under the direct control of Habré, Chad’s Directorate of Documentation and Security (DDS) killed at least 40,000 civilians – in a country of 7 million people – and tortured hundreds of thousands more. The trial also heard from members of forensic teams that had discovered mass graves. http://ind.pn/1TOcBVy

Greek soldiers killed in 1974 identified

The Cyprus Mail carried a story on 30 May saying that Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Photis Photiou on Monday apologized on behalf of the Cyprus government to the families of Greek soldiers, shot down by friendly fire in 1974, for the delay in excavating and identifying their remains. During a visit to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) laboratory at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics in Nicosia, with Greek ambassador Ilias Fotopoulos, Photiou said that the remains of another 15 of the 31 Greek commandos killed in the incident had now been identified. The remains were only exhumed last year. The latest identifications have brought the total to 28 out of 31. http://bit.ly/1WVQWey

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.