Daily World News Digest, 11 May 2015

Rohingya migrants’ boat rescued off Indonesia

The BBC reports today that nearly 600 people believed to be Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have been rescued from boats drifting in Indonesian waters. At least two overcrowded boats – with many women and children on board – were towed by local fishermen to the shores of Aceh province on Sunday. Myanmar does not recognize members of the Rohingya community as citizens. Hundreds of thousands have fled persecution in recent years, often through Thailand but also by sea. Indonesian authorities and aid agencies believe the rescued group had been at sea for about a week. http://bbc.in/1EtrXkr

Mediterranean migrant crisis: EU refugee quotas proposed

The BBC reports today that the UN estimates that 60,000 people have already tried to cross the Mediterranean this year. Migrants are being driven to make the journey by “horrific abuse” in Libya, according to Amnesty International. More than 1,800 migrants have died this year in the Mediterranean, a 20-fold increase on the same period in 2014. The European Commission’s migration policy, to be announced on Wednesday, will also propose organizing legal means for migrants to come to Europe so they do not turn to traffickers. However, this will need to be agreed by EU states. European leaders will discuss the proposals at a summit at the end of June. http://bbc.in/1PcPku3

Libya is full of cruelty

Amnesty International reports today that in Libya, thousands of foreign nationals, including refugees and asylum-seekers, face abductions for ransom, torture and sexual violence by traffickers, smugglers and organized criminal groups. Many are systematically subjected to discrimination and exploitation by their employers or face indefinite detention in appalling conditions on account of their immigration status. http://bit.ly/1zRYbdE

Saudi Arabia: mass expulsions of migrant workers

Human Rights Watch released a report on 10 May documenting a Saudi campaign underway since 2013 to detain and deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrant workers, resulting in abuses against many of them. The 36-page report, “Detained, Beaten, Deported: Saudi Abuses against Migrants during Mass Expulsions,” draws on interviews with 60 workers deported to Yemen and Somalia who experienced serious abuses during the expulsion campaign. They described beatings and detention in poor conditions before they were deported. Many arrived back in their countries destitute, unable to buy food or pay for transportation to their home areas, in some cases because Saudi officials arbitrarily confiscated their personal property. http://bit.ly/1H6m9lh

Kosovo war crimes film screened in Pristina

Balkan Insight reported on 8 May that the new documentary, The Unidentified, which names the Serbian officers who ordered attacks on Kosovo villages around the town of Pec/Peja in 1999 and those involved in hiding the victims’ bodies, was screened for the first time in Kosovo on Thursday evening at the Architecture Faculty in Pristina. ‘The Unidentified’ takes viewers back to 1999, to the villages of Ljubenic, Cuska, Pavljan and Zahac near Pec/Peja in Kosovo, where Serbian fighters killed more than 118 Albanian civilians. Their bodies were either burned or removed, and some of them were later found in mass graves at the Batajnica police training centre near Belgrade in 2001. The trial of 11 fighters alleged to have been involved in the killings – 10 of them accused of being direct perpetrators – is still ongoing in Belgrade, but the police and army generals who gave the orders have never been prosecuted in Serbia. http://bit.ly/1dWGSy8

Ivory Coast boy smuggled to Spain inside suitcase

The BBC reported on 8 May that an eight-year-old boy has been smuggled into Spain from Morocco inside a suitcase, according to Spanish police. The boy, Abou, was found inside the case being carried by a 19-year-old woman into Ceuta, a Spanish enclave next to Morocco, on Thursday. When police opened the case, they found the boy in a “terrible state”, a spokesman for the Guardia Civil told AFP. The boy, from Ivory Coast, is now in the care of authorities in Ceuta. The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that the boy’s father lives in the Canary Islands and had hoped to be reunited with his son. http://bbc.in/1Fadel7

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.