Daily World News Digest, 14 December 2017

US urges Serbia to tackle Kosovo massacre

The US State Department has brought a report by the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Centre NGO about a cover-up of crimes in Kosovo to the attention of Serbia’s recently-appointed war crimes prosecutor. “We believe that those guilty of moving the bodies of Albanian civilians from Kosovo to clandestine mass graves in Serbia to conceal evidence of earlier massacres should be brought to justice,” said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. The January 2017 report details mass graves in Serbia containing the bodies of 941 Kosovo Albanians, mainly civilians killed outside combat situations in Kosovo in 1999. http://bit.ly/2Bgt5BT

Enforced disappearance in Southeast Asia

The Bangkok Post has published an opinion piece on Sombath Somphone, the activist who disappeared in Laos on 15 December 2012. Sombath had challenged land deals negotiated by the Lao government that would have resulted in the mass relocation of villagers. A police investigation proved to be ineffective. The article alludes to a “harsh reality in the Southeast Asian region where abductions or enforced disappearances are rampant”, adding that “police tend to handle cases of enforced disappearances as a plain missing persons case. But in societies with higher standards of human rights, such cases are categorized as ‘enforced disappearance’”. http://bit.ly/2AETqKG

Egypt’s embattles civil society sector

An article in Foreign Policy magazine examines the impact of current government policy on Egypt’s civil society sector, citing the case of Ibrahim Metwally, among others. “In September, Ibrahim Metwally, a lawyer documenting the cases of those who are forcibly disappeared by the state, vanished from Cairo International Airport before boarding a flight to Geneva to testify at a UN working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances. Authorities later confirmed his detention on charges of spreading false news and running an illegal organization.” http://atfp.co/2C5Z2Ke

Pakistan court orders police to explain disappearance of Raza Khan

The Lahore High Court has instructed police to explain the disappearance of Raza Mahmood Khan, an activist who formed a group to promote peaceful relations with India. Judge Anwar ul Haq has ordered the chief of police in charge of the investigation to update the court on the progress of the inquiry into the disappearance of Khan. http://bit.ly/2kseby7

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.