Daily World News Digest, 15 February 2017

Pakistan: Missing persons info to be given within three days

The News International reports today that a Select Committee of Pakistan’s Senate has unanimously adopted the Right to Information (RTI) Bill 2016, which will make it mandatory for relevant state institutions to provide information about missing persons within three days of receiving a request. The proposed law recognizes citizens’ right to know under the Constitution and to have access to information about the activities of the government. One Senator expressed the view that the draft law would greatly help citizens in securing the maximum information and would also go a long away in addressing the issue of missing persons. http://bit.ly/2lOuHIK

Bosnian prosecution seeks more funds for exhumations

Balkan Insight reported yesterday that the prosecution has asked the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina for more money to exhume war graves after only receiving 95,000 euros from the Council of Ministers for 2017. Milan Mandic, the president of the Association of Families of Missing Persons of Sarajevo-Romanija Region, said he was dissatisfied with the speed of the search for missing persons of all ethnicities – Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. Some 7,000 people are still missing from the 1992-95 war; so far 22,500 victims have been found and identified, the article says. http://bit.ly/2kOlsJY

Mass grave of Christian civilians in West Mosul

AhlulBayt News Agency, an Iranian news portal, reported yesterday on a mass grave in West Mosul, which it says contains Christian civilians. The area is still under Da’esh control. The Shlomo Organization, which documents crimes against Christians in Iraq, said Da’esh had abducted 150 Christians from the Batnaya, Qaraqosh and Tal Kef areas whose fate is still unclear. http://bit.ly/2kp0D9r

Congo: Police clampdown on separatist religious sect

Eyewitness News reported yesterday that police in the Democratic Republic of Congo launched an assault on the residence of the leader of a separatist religious sect in Kinshasa early on Tuesday and fired live ammunition and tear gas at his supporters. Violence has surged across Congo in recent weeks after President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his constitutional mandate expired in December, raising fears the country could slide back into civil war. Police have clashed with BDK members several times in the past few weeks, but the spread of violence to Kinshasa, several hundred kilometers away, marks a serious escalation. Security forces killed more than 300 BDK members and bystanders in crackdowns on sometimes violent protests in 2007 and 2008, rights groups say. Sometimes bodies were dumped in the Congo River or buried secretly in mass graves, according to Human Rights Watch. http://bit.ly/2kp7DD8

Uzbekistan’s state crime victims want $1 billion

Devex, a media platform for the global development community, published an article yesterday on corruption in Uzbekistan. The article focuses on the Andijan massacre, during which hundreds of people were killed by government forces and dumped in unmarked mass graves. Soon after this event, political opponents and business people were either detained or killed for not complying with the government, the article says. Victims are now seeking $1 billion that is being held in European banks as compensation. http://bit.ly/2lLEuzj

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.