Daily World News Digest, 11 January 2018

Myanmar military admits troops murdered Rohingya found in mass grave

Myanmar’s military has said its soldiers murdered 10 captured Muslim “terrorists” during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September, after Buddhist villagers forced the captured men into a grave they had dug. “Villagers and members of the security forces have confessed that they committed murder,” the military said in a statement, a rare admission of wrongdoing during operations in the western state of Rakhine which triggered an exodus of more than 650,000 Rohingya Muslim villagers. http://bit.ly/2AQl4zn

Kosovo war victims slam MPs’ bid to stop Special Chambers

Rights campaigners and survivors of the 1999 Kosovo war have criticized attempts by MPs in Pristina to stop the new Specialist Chambers, which will try former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters, claiming that obstructing the Chambers “would be the greatest insult for the families of victims”. The initiative to challenge the law governing the new Specialist Chambers came after Kosovo Liberation Army veterans launched a petition calling for it to be changed because it was “discriminatory”, as the court will try former Kosovo Albanian guerrillas and not members of Serbian forces. Although based in The Hague, the Specialist Chambers are legally part of Kosovo’s judicial system. http://bit.ly/2CLLmEI

Libya rescues 279 migrants at sea, but 100 more are feared dead

The Libyan Navy said on Wednesday that its Coast Guard had rescued at least 279 migrants off the coast of Libya, but that about 100 more were missing and feared dead. All of the survivors, including 19 women and 17 children, were taken to a naval base in the capital, Tripoli, and were later handed over to Libya’s anti-migration authority. http://nyti.ms/2mmC24a

Program to account for missing Mediterranean migrants launched

With financial support from Switzerland, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will implement a program to account for missing Mediterranean migrants over the next two years. (Article in Italian) http://bit.ly/2mrhPu5

Pakistan reporter says he escaped kidnapping attempt

Journalist Taha Siddiqui made a dramatic escape on Wednesday after armed men attempted to kidnap him on a busy motorway leading to Islamabad Airport. The gunmen took his computers, several hard drives, his telephone and his passport. Siddiqui believes that security forces were responsible for the kidnapping attempt as he has been a critic of the Pakistan military. https://yhoo.it/2mqyZbg

Russia: rights defender arbitrarily arrested in Chechnya

According to various rights groups, police in Chechnya have arbitrarily arrested Oyub Titiev, head of the local office of Memorial, Russia’s leading human rights organization, on what they describe as bogus drug possession charges. Rights groups have called on Chechen authorities to free Titiev immediately, drop the charges against him, and stop hindering the work of human rights advocates in Chechnya. Police allegedly found 180 grams of a marijuana-like substance in a bag in Titiev’s car. Titiev insisted the bag had been planted by police. http://bit.ly/2Ev0WVH

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.