Daily World News Digest, 12 January 2016

A deadline for Chinese authorities to comment on the missing Hong Kong publisher is about to lapse

Time Magazine reported today that an important legal deadline is expected to lapse today in the case of missing Hong Kong publisher, Paul Lee, also known as Lee Bo. Under a legal arrangement between the mainland and Hong Kong, mainland Chinese officials must notify Hong Kong police within fourteen days if they have detained a Hong Kong citizen. Lee was last seen near his warehouse in the territory on 30 December and is widely suspected to have been abducted by mainland authorities. He is the fifth associate of the publishing company Mighty Current Media to go missing under dubious circumstances. http://ti.me/1PTHF0T

Migrants missing after being thrown into sea

The Local, a news portal from Italy, reported on 11 January that four people, possibly all women, were missing on Monday after being thrown into the sea by human traffickers off the Salento coast in southern Puglia. The migrants were among a group of over 40 Somalis, including a 10-year-old boy and 21 women, travelling towards the southern Italian region from Greece. Survivors claim the traffickers hurled the seven people overboard before abandoning the boat in the early hours of Monday. Earlier on Monday the body of a woman was recovered near rocks not far from Capo di Leuca, one of three different points where the group of migrants allegedly travelling to Italy from Greece were forced overboard. http://bit.ly/1J03soc

Shameful decision to postpone Ríos Montt trial a new stain on Guatemala’s justice system

Amnesty International issued a statement on 11 January saying that the new postponement of José Efraín Ríos Montt’s trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity is a slap in the face of the victims still trying to heal the wounds of decades of brutal civil war. “By allowing Ríos Montt to evade the courts for decades, the Guatemalan authorities have been playing a cruel game with the victims of the tens of thousands of people who were tortured, killed, disappeared and forcibly displaced under his command and their relatives,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. http://bit.ly/1N4cgnV

Thai junta upset by report on torture in Muslim south

Anadolu Agency reported on 11 January that Thailand’s military has accused local NGOs of seeking to “embarrass” the government by releasing a report on torture in the kingdom’s Muslim south. The 59-page Thai language report, titled ‘’Torture’’ and released Sunday, is based on interviews with 54 alleged victims of torture and mistreatment under military detention since 2004 in the country’s insurgency-plagued south. Of the alleged victims, 15 said they had been tortured last year and 17 in 2014. Claims of reforms in the handling of suspects by the military – which human rights groups have long accused of violations such as beatings and enforced disappearances — are refuted by representatives of the NGOs. http://bit.ly/1SLqGAr

Presidential candidate in Uganda goes missing in hands of security forces

AllAfrica news portal carried a story today saying that in less than a month, Christopher Aine’s status has changed from being a presidential candidate to a missing person and now a man feared dead. The police has suggested that he is a missing person but he can only be declared a missing person for purposes of administration of his estate, if his whereabouts remain unknown for six months. The issue of missing persons is not new in Uganda. Mr Aine’s family is accusing the police of carrying out his arrest and disappearance. Even though Aine is not a missing person under the law at the moment, his disappearance for the second time in the most important presidential election campaign in Uganda raises a serious human rights and political issue. http://bit.ly/1W2CRZA

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.