Daily World News Digest, 1 July 2015

IOM hails efforts to raise migrant death ship off Libya’s coast

The International Organization for Migration reported on 30 June that migrant arrivals in Italy have topped 20,000 for each of the last two months. Approximately 2,900 migrants were rescued at sea in the channel of Sicily in the last 48 hours. These new arrivals, according to IOM estimates, brings to about 66,500 the total number of migrants that arrived in Italy in the first six months of the year – a slight increase from 63,884 rescued at this time last year. The rescue operations are ongoing. Among the rescued migrants, brought to the ports of Lampedusa, Catania, Pozzallo (Sicily), and Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland, most numerous were Eritreans, Nigerians, Gambians, Malians, Senegalese and other sub-Saharan nationals. Separately, the Italian Navy announced yesterday it had begun efforts to recover the bodies of an estimated 750 or more migrants lost in the channel of Sicily this past April, considered the worst tragedy occurring in the Mediterranean since 2000. http://bit.ly/1T0BqcY

Serbian president “ready” to go to Srebrenica

Balkan Insight reported on 30 June that after initially refusing to attend the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Srebrenica massacres, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said he was now ready to go in order to help reconciliation. Nikolic said on Monday that he could attend the 11 July commemoration for more than 7,000 Bosniaks from Srebrenica killed by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995. But he also restated his opposition to a proposed UN Security Council resolution condemning the massacres as genocide, which was drafted by Britain in advance of the anniversary. “The initiative of Great Britain that the UN Security Council adopts a resolution about Srebrenica will not contribute to reconciliation in the region at all, neither will it prevent similar crimes happening in the future,” the statement from Nikolic’s office said. http://bit.ly/1Hwrdmw

Russian resolution condemns all crimes, supports Dayton

b92 carried a story on 30 June saying that a draft Russian resolution on Bosnia strongly condemns and deplores the most serious crimes committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The draft submitted to the UN Security Council refers to crimes committed against persons of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. The draft resolution, the facsimile of which was published by Russia’s Sputnik news agency, emphasizes the responsibility of the states to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes. It reaffirms the commitment to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states on the territory of the former Yugoslavia within their internationally recognized borders. The document calls upon all sides in Bosnia to comply strictly with their obligations under the Dayton/Paris peace agreement of 10 November 1995. http://bit.ly/1KrYYWF

Croatia: Remains of 19 Serbs identified

InSerbia news portal reports today that the remains of 19 Serb victims killed during the armed conflict in Croatia 1991-1995 were identified at the Department of Forensic Medicine and Criminalistics of the Zagreb University School of Medicine on 30 June. The remains were excavated in Slunj, Zadar, Sibenik, Dvor, Gracac, Zitnik, Medari, Vukovar and other locations, reads the statement issued by the Serbian government’s Commission on Missing Persons. The victims, who were identified through the DNA analysis, will be buried as their families demand, reads the statement. Over the last 14 years, the remains of a total of 1,314 Serbs were excavated from mass and individual graves in the territory of Croatia and former Republic of Serb Krajina and 932 of them were identified, says a release the Documentation Informational Center Veritas. The list of missing persons composed by this NGO includes another 1,871 people of Serb nationality, including 1,315 civilians, 509 of whom are women. http://bit.ly/1LU7WJx

West and Russia duel over whether Srebrenica was a genocide

abc News reports today that western nations and Russia are dueling over whether the U.N. Security Council should call the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war a genocide in a resolution commemorating the 20th anniversary of Europe’s worst mass killing since World War II. The U.N. General Assembly will commemorate the Srebrenica anniversary on Wednesday, but whether the Security Council will adopt a resolution remains to be seen since Russia as a permanent member has veto power. The council is scheduled to discuss the commemoration on July 7 and Serbia has been pressing for a Russian veto of the Western-backed resolution. Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said ”the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide is a moment to pause and reflect on the lessons learned of the darkest moments in U.N. history and commit to making ‘Never Again’ a reality.” http://abcn.ws/1RS3LzC

Egypt: Crackdown is “crushing an entire generation” of young people

allAfrica reported on 30 June that the 25-page report, Generation Jail: Egypt’s youth go from protest to prison, focuses on the cases of 14 young people who are among thousands to have been arbitrarily arrested, detained and jailed over the past two years in relation to protests. The briefing shows that Egypt has fully reverted to being a police state. More than 41,000 people have now been arrested, charged or indicted with a criminal offence, or sentenced after unfair trials, according to estimates by Egyptian human rights activists. More than a year after he came to power, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has shown no sign of easing its repressive rule. A new wave of arrests in mid-2015 saw at least 160 people detained in conditions amounting to enforced disappearance, according to the Egyptian activist group Freedom For the Brave. http://bit.ly/1HtPSGy

Torture is a routine practice in occupied Kashmir, says Altaf Wani

Kashmir Media Service carried a story on 30 June saying that Kashmiri representative, Altaf Hussain Wani, has said that the denial of right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir by India has led to gross human rights violations by Indian troops and police in occupied Kashmir. Taking part in the general debate under Agenda Item 8 at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Altaf Hussain Wani said that over a half million Indian troops and paramilitary personnel were enjoying unbridled powers under draconian laws to commit crimes against humanity in the occupied territory. “Torture, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, rape, declared and undeclared curfew, crackdowns on local populations, raids on hospitals and harassment of the media persons is everyday affair in Indian occupied Kashmir,” he maintained. Torture is a routine practice that has been going on in interrogation centers, police stations and army camps throughout Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he added. http://bit.ly/1GYpZNA

The UN says South Sudan’s Army raped girls and burnt them alive

VICE News portal carried a story on 30 June saying that according to an alarming and detailed report by the United Nations , recent fighting in South Sudan has taken on a “new brutality and intensity,” as victims and witnesses recounted atrocities committed by government forces, including gang rape and the burning alive of girls. The findings by the UN’s Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) carried out by its human rights division and based on 115 victim and witness testimonies, offers a wider picture of the atrocities, and again casts allegations against the government. Human rights investigators reported that at least 79 women and girl were victims of sexual violence, including gang rape. Armed groups, it said, had abducted at least 179. UNMISS also reports that at least 67 civilians had been killed — though the true death toll is likely much higher. Many boys, it said, are missing, presumably having been recruited as child soldiers. http://bit.ly/1Kr7t4e

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.