Daily World News Digest, 10 March 2015

UN presses North Korea to account for abductions

The New York Times reported on 9 March that Marzuki Darusman, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, has called for sustained international action to pressure North Korea into accounting for hundreds of foreign citizens it is believed to have abducted over several decades. In a report released on Monday, Darusman urged “sustained and resolute action” by the international community aimed at “shedding light on all cases of abductions” and returning those still alive to their countries of origin. His report, on strategies for resolving those cases, is to be presented next week to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. http://nyti.ms/1GmuAal

Croatia puts member of “Scorpions” paramilitary unit on trial

BalkanInsight reported on 9 March that a member of the “Scorpions” paramilitary unit has gone on trial in Osijek in Croatia, accused of helping to execute six Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) from Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trial of Milorad Momic started on Monday at Osijek county court in eastern Croatia. Momic is accused of taking part in the execution of six Bosniak prisoners from Srebrenica in mid-July 1995 in the village of Godinjska Bara, near Trnovo. One of the prisoners who were killed was aged 16 and two others were 17. The killings were filmed by the members of the Scorpions unit. http://bit.ly/1wVnUR7

Free Syria’s silenced voices

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) reported on 9 March that Amnesty International, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, FIDH, Front Line Defenders, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders have come together to work jointly with other international, regional and Syrian organizations, to campaign for the release of civil society activists, media and medical workers arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared in Syria. Since the start of the popular protests in Syria in March 2011, more than 200,000 people have been killed, millions of Syrians have become refugees, while thousands of civilians have been arrested, detained, abducted, tortured and, in some cases, subjected to enforced disappearance merely for exercising their fundamental rights, FIDH says. http://bit.ly/1BlKnXl

No new clues on MH370 flight disappearance in interim report

The Blasting News website reported on 9 March that the interim report on the disappearance of flight MH370 released by the Malaysian government contains no new clues about what happened to the missing plane, which is believed to have crashed somewhere in the Indian ocean. The government report, which was published on the first anniversary of the disappearance, said that an underwater locator beacon battery had expired a year earlier, but it did not say whether this hindered the international search efforts in locating the missing plane. http://bit.ly/1MnTpVm

DNA analysis provides new information on Atlantic slave trade

CBS News reported on 9 March on a new DNA-based approach which may fill in gaps on the history of the Atlantic slave trade between 1500 and 1850. Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Monday, a team of researchers led by Hannes Schroeder of the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen described how they used whole genome capture to retrieve the DNA from 400-year-old skeletal remains of three slaves, known as the Zoutsteeg Three. Schroeder and his team analyzed the DNA from teeth recovered from a construction site on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin in 2010. They then used a different technique known as principal component analysis to compare that DNA with 11 modern West African reference populations. From this, they were able to conclude the individuals most likely came from Bantu-speaking groups in northern Cameroon and non-Bantu-speaking communities living in present-day Nigeria and Ghana. http://cbsn.ws/1aZ7aP1

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.