Daily World News Digest, 1 June 2018

Mediterranean: 655 migrant fatalities so far this year

The International Organization for Migration reports that 30,300 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 147 days of 2018, with about 40 percent arriving in Italy, 35 percent in Greece, and 25 percent in Spain. In the Mediterranean 655 people have lost their lives at sea since the beginning of the year. https://bit.ly/2L5wt3I

Pakistan: disappearance after detention by security forces

The BBC cites community activists in Pakistan, who say that 140 members of the Shia community have disappeared in the past two years. Their families believe they were taken into custody by the intelligence services. The head of the Shia Missing Persons Committee in Karachi says most of the men were detained after returning from pilgrimage to the Middle East. According to official data, there are more than 1,500 unresolved cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan. https://bbc.in/2kH8c9f

Iran accused of destroying mass graves from 1988

The Associated Press has carried a story about a joint report released by Justice for Iran and Amnesty International accusing Iran of destroying or redeveloping the sites of mass graves holding those executed in a 1988 wartime purge that killed as many as 5,000 people. Iran has never fully acknowledged the executions. https://bit.ly/2JmfwVu

Judge overturns jury verdict against former Bolivian president

AP reports that a US Senior District Judge has overturned a jury decision that found a former president of Bolivia Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and his defense minister Jose Carlos Sanchez Berzain responsible for government killings during unrest in 2003. The lawsuit was filed by Bolivians whose family members were among the victims of extrajudicial killings. https://bit.ly/2LcImVO

Iraq: new strategy on missing persons faces Yezidi criticism

A decision by a court in Iraq to classify as “deceased”, after a two-year period, anyone missing as a result of a terrorist attack even if the actual fate of the individual is not known has raised concerns in the Yezidi community. Viyan Dakhil, a Yezidi MP, pointed out that, “hundreds of Yezidis have been executed and randomly buried in 60 mass graves which are known.” She said victims who are identified “must be given the status of martyrs and their families must be compensated,” while missing Yezidis should not be classified as deceased and their families must receive support until their fate is known. (Article in Arabic) https://bit.ly/2J7c79U

Items in the 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.