Daily World News Digest, 16 December 2016

Mass graves must be protected to ensure justice for the victims

The Conversation released an article yesterday about the protection of mass graves that have been discovered in different parts of the world. Decades after conflicts have ended, countries including Cambodia, Bosnia and Kosovo are continuing to grapple with their legacy, the article says, adding that, while there have been calls from some European parliamentarians for mass graves in Iraq and Syria to be protected, implementing adequate safeguarding has yet to become a priority for the international community. There are compelling reasons why mass graves need to be protected. They hold evidence that is important for the criminal investigations needed to bring perpetrators to justice. At the same time, the families of the dead have a need and right to know what happened to their loved ones. This requires identification and repatriation of the bodies. All too often, mass graves are disturbed and contaminated, compromising these ends. The article notes among other things that with the support of ICMP, Iraq enacted a law in 2006 solely dedicated to the protection of mass graves. http://bit.ly/2hAS09K

Uncertainty about the location of mass graves in Lebanon 

Equal Times carried an article yesterday on the 15-year-long Lebanese Civil War that ended in 1990, and the mass graves that resulted from it. For the family members of the 17,000 people who went missing during the war, the excavation of mass graves is the only way to find out the fate of their loved ones. However, despite 26 years of relative peace, Lebanese officials are still reluctant to uncover the mass graves. http://bit.ly/2gRSze5

No solution to Cyprus without a solution to the issue of missing persons, say relatives 

The Famagusta Gazette reports today that a session of the 100-member Advisory Board of the Pancyprian Organization of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling on President Anastasiades Nicos Anastasiades to renew and intensify efforts to address the issue of missing persons. The resolution also urges the President to make it clear in the ongoing negotiations on Cyprus that solving the issue of missing persons is a prerequisite for the establishment of an environment of trust between the two communities.  http://bit.ly/2hNtjr1

New initiative to find missing persons in Texas 

Yahoo News carried an article yesterday on the Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team, a nonprofit organization that spearheads recovery efforts for lost and missing persons. The organization has launched a new partnership with the Texas outdoor advertising industry including the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas (OAAT) and OUTFRONT Media. Outdoor advertising companies are donating periodic messages on digital billboards across the state for missing persons cases. https://yhoo.it/2h7xFoI 

Pakistan: Relatives of missing activists demand reparation 

The Express Tribune reported today that on Thursday a government official informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) that relatives of as many as 24 workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), who have reportedly gone missing, have demanded that the government provide them with a permanent monthly allowance. http://bit.ly/2hCbk3E

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.