Daily World News Digest, 14 September 2015

Boat capsizes off Greek island, 28 refugees drown

Al Jazeera reported on 13 September that at least 28 refugees, half of them children, have drowned after a wooden fishing boat sank off the Greek Island of Farmakonisi. Four babies and 10 young children, five boys and five girls, were among 112 people on the stricken boat when it sank off the southern Aegean island early on Sunday. The toll is thought to be the largest recorded from any single accident in Greek waters since the refugee crisis began. The coast guard rescued another 68 refugees from the sea and another 30 made their way to the island by themselves. Divers have recovered a number of victims still trapped in the vessel. Also on Sunday, a rubber dinghy deflated about 100m off Lesbos, forcing the occupants to swim for their lives. Sunday’s tragedy came just a day after two other boats capsized and at least five people — four children and a 20-year-old man — were presumed drowned. http://bit.ly/1Y0aKMK 

Greek Coast Guard searching for five missing refugees in the East Aegean Sea

The Greek Reporter issued news on 12 September saying that the Hellenic Coast Guard was conducting a search operation for five people, who were on boats that capsized while transporting migrants and refugees to Greece on Saturday. Four of the missing are minors. One of the two boats, was operated by migrant smugglers, and had departed from Turkey and capsized on its way to the East Aegean Greek island of Samos. The remaining 25 people that were on the boat were safely rescued, according to the Hellenic Coast Guard’s announcement. Frontex also conducted an operation on Saturday that lead to the rescue of 32 people that were on the second capsized boat that was headed from Turkey to the East Aegean Greek island of Lesbos. A 20-year old Syrian who was aboard that boat has gone missing and authorities were trying to locate him. The Hellenic Coast Guard announced that it had rescued 260 migrants and refugees in multiple operations off the coasts of various East Aegean Greek islands throughout Saturday. http://bit.ly/1VWgs0n

Report on missing persons in Sri Lanka to coincide with UNHRC session in Geneva 

Daily News from Sri Lanka carried a story on 14 September saying that the Sri Lankan government will table two important commission reports in Parliament to coincide with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva. Highly placed government sources have indicated that the Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons (PCICMP) report would be tabled in Parliament towards the end of September. The report was presented to President Maithripala Sirisena two weeks ago. There are also plans to publish the report of the commission headed by retired justice Nissanka Udalagama, which probed the killings of 17 NGO workers just months before the start of the final phase of the war against the Tamil Tigers. The commission has presented an interim report to President Sirisena. http://bit.ly/1i9dQgK 

Hundreds still missing in Pakistan, including scientist who disappeared a decade ago

Dawn, a daily from Pakistan, carried a story on 14 September saying that over a decade has passed since Attiqur Rehman, a scientific officer at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, went missing under mysterious circumstances in his hometown Abbottabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northeast Pakistan. He disappeared on 23 June 2004. A First Information Report on the disappearance of Attiqur Rehman was registered at Abbottabad City police station on 7 July, 2004. While his family members continued moving from one court to another, filing petitions for his safe recovery, the case has been pending before the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED). Several months ago police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province compiled a report on cases of “enforced disappearances” in this area. According to the report, police had received a total of 1,066 cases of “enforced disappearances” related to different districts in the province. http://bit.ly/1iItD6O

Women vanishing in Mexico State

The BBC carried a story today on the thousands of women and girls who disappear in Mexico State – the administrative region around the capital, Mexico City. A staggering 1,238 women and girls were reported missing in the state in 2011 and 2012 according to the most recent figures available. Of these, 53 percent were girls under the age of 17. This is the most dangerous Mexican state in which to be a woman – at least 2,228 were murdered here in the past decade. http://bbc.in/1Qzu0M7

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.