Daily World News Digest, 13 December 2016

UN urges Albania to identify Communist-era victims

Balkan Insight reports today that a UN team working on enforced disappearances says the authorities in Albania have done too little to help victims of communist-era persecution find the bodies of the missing or mass graves. Almost 26 years after the fall of Communism in Albania, the report says, those persecuted by the Stalinist regime have little hope that the state will ever identify around 6,000 remains of people who were executed or died in regime camps and prisons. On Monday, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances comprising five independent experts, after an eight-day fact-gathering mission in Albania, criticized the authorities for doing little to help identify the communist regime’s victims. http://bit.ly/2gv8n31

Opening of first Serbian Srebrenica trial delayed

Balkan Insight reported yesterday that the expected opening of the first case to be prosecuted in Serbia related to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre was delayed at Belgrade’s Special Court on Monday when the defense asked for the judges to be removed from the case, accusing them of violating the defendants’ right to a fair trial. Eight former members of a Bosnian Serb special police unit are accused of organizing and participating in the shooting of more than 100 Bosniak civilians in an agricultural warehouse in the village of Kravica near Srebrenica in July 1995. http://bit.ly/2gDEMY9

Bangladesh: mass grave neglected

The Daily Star, a newspaper from Bangladesh, carries an article today about the Golahat mass grave near Saidpur railway station in northern Bangladesh, where 437 people were massacred during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. The report notes that 45 years after independence, the grave is untended. Relatives of the victims and local people formed a “Golahat mass grave preservation committee” in the last year and started building a memorial, but the work stopped for lack of funding. “We have a plan to build a boundary wall around the 1.40-acre area, make a memorial, a concrete plaque with names of the martyrs, a garden and an artificial fountain here,” said Niju Kumar Agarwal, convener of the committee, who lost his father and 10 relatives in the massacre. http://bit.ly/2hstgOi                           

Thousands of children go missing in Ohio each year

The Norwalk Reflector, a U.S. local newspaper, carried a story yesterday about missing children in the State of Ohio. Ohio had 18,688 children among the 23,466 people reported missing in the state last year. It said 97 percent of all children were recovered safely, according to the annual Missing Children Clearinghouse report compiled by Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office. The mandatory report was set up by the General Assembly to serve as the central reporting clearinghouse about missing children in the state. There were four missing children who were found dead last year, one from a homicide and three from drowning. http://bit.ly/2hsq31g

£7 million police bill to find missing people in Shropshire, UK

The Shropshire Star, a regional newspaper from the UK, reported yesterday that 3,000 people have gone missing in the past two years in Shropshire, UK – more than 1,000 of them children in care. The figures include children under the supervision of social services who have been reported missing multiple times. One teenager is reported to have been sought by police on more than 40 separate occasions within the two years. Figures obtained by the Shropshire Star reveal that, since April this year, police have recorded and investigated 1,658 reports of missing people in Shropshire. Of these reports, 1,042 are of children under 18 and 585 involved children in care. http://bit.ly/2hnHNNB

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.