Daily World News Digest, 15 July 2015

Hungary starts building fence on Serbian border

Balkan Insight reported on 14 July that the Hungarian Army has started to prepare the terrain near Morahalom, a small southern border town of about 6,000 people, for the erection of a four-meter-high fence designed to stop illegal migrants. The authorities are only erecting an “experimental” fence, here however, no more than 150 meters long. Similar short stretches of fences are to be built at ten locations in all, where the Hungarian authorities say they are “most exposed to the pressures of migrants”. Over 70,000 illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria have arrived in Hungary since the beginning of this year, a sharp increase on the figures for 2014 and 2013. The arrivals reach Hungary on a route that leads from Turkey through Serbia and Macedonia. http://bit.ly/1CG5s1k

New cases of enforced disappearances of students in Egypt

Allafrica, a news portal, carried a story on 14 July saying that Alkarama, a civil rights NGO, has sent an urgent appeal to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) regarding four young men who went missing following their abduction by members of the police and the army between 22 April and 28 May 2015. Alkarama argues that they may be subject to torture or ill-treatment in secret detention inside a Homeland Security facility or one of its affiliated centers. In the past two years, human rights organizations have documented an increasing number of enforced disappearances in Egypt, as illustrated by the 21 cases of enforced disappearances documented by Alkarama’s Egypt Country Officer, Ahmed Mefreh, between January and April 2015. http://bit.ly/1MtbnHn

More deaths reported as Mediterranean migrants arrive in Italy, Greece

The International Organization for Migration reported on 14 July that through last weekend, approximately 4,800 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean and brought to Italian and Greek ports. The Italian Coast Guard saved 3,720 migrants in the Channel of Sicily, while Hellenic maritime forces brought to safety another approximately 1,100 migrants. The shipwreck in Tunisian waters last Friday was the latest in a deadly series this year and occurred on the heels of two other incidents last week: one in the Aegean Sea, during which at least 19 migrants drowned, and one in the Channel of Sicily, where a total of 12 migrants – 8 men and 4 women – perished. According to IOM estimates, over 1,900 migrants have drowned so far this year in their attempts to reach Europe by sea, of those more than 1,840 perished trying to reach Italy. http://bit.ly/1Mr3hiB

Dozens of bodies wash up on Libyan shore

Migrant Report carried a story on 14 July saying that as many as 100 bodies believed to be sub-Saharan migrants have been found in the sea and the shores of the Tajoura, a coastal town about 10kms east of Tripoli, according to spokesman for the capital’s anti-immigration department. They are believed to be the victims of a shipwreck off Tajoura, which is known as a sending spot for migrants heading for Europe on boats. If the number of dead is confirmed it would be the biggest tragedy by far since April 18 when 850 migrants are believed to have lost their lives in a single shipwreck off Libya. A record 1,780 migrants had lost their lives in the Mediterranean up to that point but the deaths slowed down after EU leaders reacted by expanding the search and rescue effort to unprecedented levels. http://bit.ly/1SkzR7f

Documenting death inside Syria’s secret prisons

WUWF, radio and news portal of the University of West Florida, carried a story on 14 July saying that a Syrian forensic photographer, who now uses the pseudonym Caesar, has documented the death of thousands of detainees in Syria’s brutal prison system. He made more than 55,000 high-resolution images before he fled the country, fearing for his safety, in 2013. Dozens of Caesar’s photographs will be displayed again in the halls of the US Congress on Wednesday. Syrian families are now looking through the photos online after Syrian opposition groups posted more than 6,000 images in March.


Kuwait requires DNA registration

The International Business Times (Australian edition) reports today that the national parliament of Kuwait passed a law early July requiring all local and foreign residents to undergo DNA testing. The order covers 1.3 million citizens and 2.9 million foreign residents in an effort to fight and prevent terrorism and violence after the Islamic-state bombing. Failure to comply with the guidelines to submit their DNA for registration and testing could be penalized with up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $33,000, and those who provide a fake sample can be jailed for seven years. The decision was made after a deadly suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait City on 26 June. The tragedy was reported to be led by the ISIS that killed 26 people and hurt 227. The US, for example, currently holds the record of having the largest DNA database, containing DNA from arrested individuals, missing persons and their families, and the deceased. http://bit.ly/1TC1qvp

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.