Daily World News Digest, 11 February 2016

UN wants to send experts for Burundi mass graves probe

Yahoo News reported today that United Nations wants to send independent forensics experts to Burundi to help authorities investigate allegations of mass graves in the strife-torn country. After a government security crackdown in December, witnesses came forward with accounts of at least nine mass graves in and around Bujumbura including one in a military camp where more than 100 bodies were allegedly buried. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic told reporters that a Burundian prosecutor had opened an investigation of the alleged mass graves and that the United Nations had offered to help. http://yhoo.it/1Qa7UUd

Pope Francis must resist Mexico’s well-oiled PR machine

Amnesty International issued a news on 10 February saying that Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico was controversial from the start. It was reported that high on the Pope’s agenda were the disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students and the plight of thousands of Central American migrants. More than 27,000 people have gone missing – almost half of them since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in 2012; many of them have been forcibly disappeared. Authorities deny the shockingly high levels of human rights abuses. Pope Francis must resist the Mexican government’s simulation and instead stick to his agenda and call the President to task over this appalling human rights debacle, says Amnesty International. http://bit.ly/1T9IBkl

NGO: At least two Mexican journalists disappear every year

Telesur news portal reported on 10 February that UK-based nongovernmental organization Article 19 released Tuesday a report indicating that since 2003, 23 Mexican journalists have disappeared, amounting to an average of two every year: the highest number in the world. According to Article 19, which defends freedom of expression throughout the world, 96 percent of those journalists covered corruption and crime. The organization added that of the 23 missing journalists, 15 came from one of three states: Tamaulipas, Michoacan, and Veracruz. In 23 percent of the cases, the missing journalists were investigating links between government or military officials and organized crime groups. http://bit.ly/23XOBBS

Three men reappear in Alexandrian police station after their enforced disappearance

Daily News Egypt reported on 10 February that three young men reappeared in an Alexandria police station after police arrested them from their homes and then they were subject to enforced disappearance. The men display signs of torture and their health had severely deteriorated, according to the Arab African Centre for Freedom and Human Rights (AACFHR). According to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, there were at least 215 cases of enforced disappearances across the country in August and September 2015. http://bit.ly/1Q8WcmO

Missing and murdered indigenous women: How sex trafficking works in Canada

The Globe and Mail, a daily from Canada, carried a story on 10 February saying that to most Canadians, human trafficking evokes images of women smuggled from far-off lands or over the border. Most of it is sex trafficking, and it overwhelmingly takes place within Canada’s borders. Of the 330 cases the RCMP has identified, 311 – 94 per cent – are domestic. “Trafficking in persons” has a mandatory minimum sentence of four to six years, but even a decade after the law came into force, convictions remain rare.  Detective-Sergeant Nunzio Tramontozzi of the Toronto police force’s human-trafficking enforcement team says victims they eventually find are „broken“. http://bit.ly/1Q8V6au

Norway investigates child abuse at asylum-seekers’ centers

The Washington Post carried a story on 9 February saying that Norwegian police said Tuesday that they are investigating several cases of sex offenders allegedly abusing children at asylum-seekers’ reception centers in the country. Last year, more than 31,000 people applied for asylum in Norway of whom 5,300 were unaccompanied minors. Meanwhile, The International Organization for Migration announced that 409 people have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. IOM says 76,000 people have reached Europe by sea, nearly 2,000 per day, since 1 January. http://wapo.st/1KGTsAS

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.