Daily World News Digest, 11 January 2016

Thousands protest in Hong Kong over missing publishers

Reuters reported on 10 January that thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in a reprise of anti-China protests of over a year ago, demanding to know the whereabouts of five missing people linked to a local publisher of books critical of Beijing’s leadership. Other publishers and book vendors are unnerved by the mysterious disappearances. In three bookstores selling political books visited by Reuters, owners declined to be interviewed, citing the fear of mainland anger. The Hong Kong government said in a statement it was “firmly committed to protecting the freedom of expression and freedom of publication”. http://reut.rs/1SGQ1eT

Yemen: Arbitrarily held by the Houthis

Human Rights Watch issued a news on 10 January saying that Houthi authorities in Yemen have arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared dozens of people in the capital, Sanaa. The Houthi authorities should safeguard the rights of everyone in detention, immediately release all those held arbitrarily, and grant family members, lawyers, and independent monitors immediate access to detention sites to reduce the risk of abuse. Families have not been able to find out the whereabouts of seven believed to have been forcibly disappeared. Many appear to have been arrested because of their links to Islah, a Sunni political party that is opposed to the Zaidi Shia Houthis. http://bit.ly/1OI0XY4

Dozens of migrants die in the sea off Somaliland

Reuters reported on 9 January that dozens of Ethiopian and Somali migrants died in the waters off the breakaway Somalia region of Somaliland when their vessel failed mechanically in the course of the voyage and drifted in the sea. “The Coast Guard brought the 72 survivors and the bodies of the dead people ashore. The wounded are being treated and the dead are being buried.” Another 96 bodies, from the same vessel, were discovered ashore by locals on Friday having been washed in with the tide, Falay added. Migrants from the Horn of Africa states have for many years made the perilous sea crossing in search of better life abroad, forced out of their countries by conflict, repression and economic hardships. http://reut.rs/1TLrYtK

Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons stage protest in Kashmir

Rising Kashmir, a news portal, carried a story today saying that the relatives of disappeared persons today displayed the newly designed calendars wherein each leaf of the calendar displays the caricature of 12 disappeared persons. Chairperson APDP Parveena Ahangar said the new Chief Minister has a biggest challenge of disappeared persons while the former Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, failed to solve their issue. She demanded an independent commission to be constituted to investigate the disappearances in Kashmir. Parveena said the all institutions of justice have failed to do justice with them. http://bit.ly/1Odm7f4

Wife of Chinese human rights lawyer missing for six months tells of despair

The Guardian carried a story today saying that six months after Wang Qiaoling’s husband was spirited into secret detention by security forces, the wife of one of China’s top civil rights lawyers has spoken of her grief and despair. Li Heping, a 45-year-old attorney, disappeared on 10 July last year after security officials came to his home at the start of what activists call an unprecedented government crackdown in which more than 240 lawyers and activists were detained or questioned. Exactly six months on, up to 35 lawyers and activists, including Li, are still missing or in custody. In recent weeks, the husbands, wives and children of the missing lawyers have joined in a fruitless hunt for answers. http://bit.ly/1JEz1UD

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.