Daily World News Digest, 10 February 2017

Torture rehabilitation center in Egypt closed 

Amnesty International reported yesterday that Egyptian authorities have closed the offices of a prominent human rights group that helps victims of violence and torture. In response, Deputy Director for campaigns at Amnesty International’s Tunis regional office Najia Bounaim said: “This is a blatant attempt by the authorities to punish the El Nadeem Center for its work supporting victims of torture and other ill-treatment and families of people subjected to enforced disappearances. The Egyptian authorities have made it increasingly clear that anyone who stands up for human rights in Egypt today is perceived as a threat. They should be providing redress to victims of torture and offering support to organizations such as El Nadeem, not storming their offices and preventing them from carrying out their valuable work.” http://bit.ly/2k7J0uM

Ukraine: activists disappear in separatist territory

Human Rights Watch reported yesterday that a Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activist and another person have been missing since 31 January in the separatist-controlled area of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, and are feared to be victims of enforced disappearance. Human Rights Watch is concerned that the de facto authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) have detained them and are refusing to acknowledge their detention. In addition, Human Rights Watch has not been able to get information about why the activists may have been detained, or whether they face any charges.  http://bit.ly/2kz1W4e

Pakistan activists launch signature campaign on missing persons 

The News International reports today that on Thursday outside the Karachi Press Club, activists under the banner of “End All Disappearances” organized a petition to highlight the issue of enforced disappearances in Pakistan. The petition, addressed to state authorities and the UN, addressed missing persons, detentions of political activists and the “crackdown against dissent”. “Making people disappear does not make Pakistan any safer,” said one activist. http://bit.ly/2kOQuzR

Council of Europe says Kosovo war victims ignored 

Balkan Insight reported yesterday that the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks has said that the plight of Kosovo war victims is being ignored amid the ongoing political discussions about the country’s future. “Many victims of the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo, in particular displaced persons, families of missing persons and victims of wartime sexual violence, are still trying to rebuild their lives, find out the truth about their loved ones and access justice,” Muiznieks said in a statement. He also noted that a further 1,660 people remain missing from the Kosovo conflict. “The process of establishing the truth has slowed down while there is a need to enhance domestic forensic expertise, increase regional co-operation, and ensure access to archives which may hold information that could help locate the remains of missing persons,” he said http://bit.ly/2k6slb3 

Survivors and Dutch soldiers reflect on Srebrenica  

Voice of America reported yesterday that former Dutch peacekeepers and bereaved Bosnian Muslims confronted painful memories Thursday at the opening of a new permanent exhibition in Srebrenica, where Serb forces massacred more than 8,000 people in 1995. Among more than 500 photographs on display, there are images of women and children being separated from their menfolk in the prelude to the massacre. Others show the first burials of the victims, most of whom were exhumed from hundreds of mass graves scattered across eastern Bosnia. The Dutch soldiers were meant to protect the local population, but they were lightly armed and had no orders to confront the Bosnian Serb army. http://bit.ly/2lwGmvG

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.