Daily World News Digest, 14 April 2016

Amnesty International demands trials after Nigerian mass grave revealed

Voice of America carried a story on 13 April saying that Amnesty International is calling for trials following revelations that Nigeria’s Kaduna state government secretly buried the bodies of nearly 350 slain Shi’ite Muslims in a mass grave. Kaduna state officials told a panel of inquiry Monday that the bodies were buried in the bush after clashes between army troops and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in the town of Zaria in December. “It is now imperative that the mass grave sites are protected in order that a full independent forensic investigation can begin,” M.K. Ibrahim, the director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said. http://bit.ly/1VVREH5

Indonesia urged to hold truth and reconciliation process over massacres

The Guardian reported on 13 April that calls for the Indonesian government to launch a truth and reconciliation process to address the slaughter of half a million suspected communists in the 1960s are growing ahead of a planned government-funded discussion of the atrocities next week. Human rights activists are hopeful the two-day symposium in Jakarta on 18-19 April will lead to the repeal of a decree blacklisting families of the members of the former Indonesian Communist party (PKI). Elected in 2014, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo has been largely disappointing on the former issue, said Haris Azhar, the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence. http://bit.ly/1qHtGDU

Balochistan: Pakistan Army kills over 35 civilians and carries out mass abductions

Unrepresented Peoples and Nations Organization issued a statement on 13 April saying that the Pakistani army and para-military Frontier Corps are said to have killed at least 35 and abducted 200 Baloch civilians from 9 to 11 April 2016. They have attacked and pillaged houses in various areas, killing livestock and arresting people, many of whom have now disappeared. Baloch rights groups have also reported that at least 200 people have been arrested and disappeared by Pakistani forces during these indiscriminate attacks on Baloch non-combats. The Chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, Nasrullah Baloch, objected to the hasty burial and said that the dead bodies should have been kept in Morgue for a longer period. http://bit.ly/1TSS2WE

Nigeria: The Chibok girls must be found – and freed

All Africa news portal carried a story on 13 April saying that Muhammadu Buhari spoke out clearly when he took over Nigeria’s presidential seat: “We cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents”. At that time, one year had already passed since the 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the insurgent Islamist group Boko Haram. Now, another year later, Nigerians are still waiting to see their government do everything it can to find the girls and Boko Haram’s many other victims. The Chibok girls are only a tiny percentage of the thousands of children and women abducted by the insurgents. http://bit.ly/262fiGx

U.S. rights report criticizes China’s ‘severe’ crackdown on lawyers

Reuters UK reported on 13 April that the U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report on Wednesday criticized Beijing’s ‘severe’ crackdown against Chinese lawyers and law firms handling cases that Beijing considers politically sensitive. The report said repression and coercion in China against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights advocacy had increased. Hundreds of lawyers were interrogated, and in many cases detained in secret locations for months without charges or access to attorneys or family members, the report added. http://reut.rs/1qqRsDy

Burundi: Government investigations ignore state abuses

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 13 April saying that the findings of a Burundian commission of inquiry into allegations of extrajudicial executions by members of the security forces on 11 December, 2015, in the capital, Bujumbura, are misleading and biased. Human Rights Watch found that police and military shot dead scores of people in Nyakabiga and Musaga neighborhoods, apparently in retaliation for opposition attacks on four military installations, and for heavy shooting at security forces by gunmen in these neighborhoods. The Prosecutor General, Valentin Bagorikunda, did not mention killings or abuses of Bujumbura residents by the security forces in the inquiry report. An independent, international commission of inquiry is needed to establish the truth about the grave abuses in Burundi. http://bit.ly/1YuQJMK

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.