Daily World News Digest, 15 May 2017

Refugees in Serbia “sprayed with insecticide” before eviction

On Friday, the Independent reported that Serbian authorities have evicted some 1,200 refugees from a makeshift camp in central Belgrade, leaving several hundred unaccounted for, including unaccompanied children. The article features video footage showing what looks like an official in protective workwear and face mask spraying what volunteers in the Serbian capital said was toxic insecticide within the barracks while refugees and their belongings were still inside. Many of the refugees were taken on buses to a series of government-run camps across the country. But as many as 400 were no longer accounted for at the time of writing the article. http://ind.pn/2qhV4v9

Mediterranean: 484 migrants and refugees saved, seven found dead

Reuters reported on Sunday that rescuers saved 484 migrants from boats in the Mediterranean on Saturday and found the bodies of seven men who had died in the attempt to get to Europe, according to Italy’s coastguard. More than 45,000 people have reached Italy by boat from North Africa this year, a more than 40 percent increase on the same period of 2016; more than 1,200 have died on the way, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. http://bit.ly/2pMKEAM

Poland trapping asylum seekers in Belarus

New Europe carried a story on Sunday about migrants stranded in Belarus after Polish border guards denied them the right to seek asylum in Poland. Human Rights Watch warned about a breach of Poland’s obligations under EU, human rights, and refugee law. The Polish Ombudsman and Polish and Belarusian human rights organizations have raised similar concerns. The Polish government claims those it rejects are all economic migrants. But people interviewed for the article claim they are fleeing torture, enforced disappearances, blood feuds and political persecution at home. http://bit.ly/2rhlqeW

UN Report urges authorities in Pakistan to end torture, enforced disappearance

Radio Free Europe carried a story on Saturday noting that a UN report issued on 12 May condemns the “widespread practice of torture” in Pakistan by police, the military, and intelligence agencies. The report by the UN Committee Against Torture claims that military forces; intelligence services, and paramilitary forces have been implicated in a significant number of cases of extra-judicial executions involving torture and enforced disappearances.” http://bit.ly/2pAPd4Q

Mass grave found near Iran-Iraq border

Iraqi News reported on Sunday on a mass grave that has been found in a remote area in Diyala province near the Iran-Iraq border. The grave, which contains eight bodies, five of which are unidentified women, was found after a report from a sheep herder. http://bit.ly/2rf0LrP

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.