Daily World News Digest, 16 February 2017

Amnesty: hundreds of Rohingya still missing

Amnesty International issued a statement yesterday saying that four months after the launch of major security operations in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State, the fate and whereabouts of hundreds of detained Rohingya are still unknown. Authorities claim to have arrested and “taken legal action” against hundreds of people since 9 October 2016. Amnesty International considers them as victims of enforced disappearances, who are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and of being subjected to unfair trials. http://bit.ly/2lOfAOJ

Nepal transitional justice mechanisms to continue accepting complaints

The Himalayan Times reports today that transitional justice bodies in Nepal will accept complaints of conflict victims who could not register their cases earlier. Bishnu Pathak, spokesperson for the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP), said the CIEDP would issue a notice by mid-March, urging all remaining conflict victims to file complaints. The victims will be given a month to file complaints. The CIEDP has collected 2,888 disappearance-related cases. The mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was extended by a year last week. More than 58,000 conflict victims have lodged cases with the TRC. Although the TRC formally stopped receiving complaints in mid-August, victims have continued to present complaints relating to insurgency-era rights violations. http://bit.ly/2lRHzhh

Canadian police criticized over missing persons cases

CTV News, from Canada, reports today that an independent watchdog has uncovered “shoddy reporting” by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers in northern British Columbia that makes it impossible to tell whether many missing persons cases were properly investigated. The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP also found serious record-keeping gaps and other issues. The commission’s consultations in almost two dozen communities in the region – where Aboriginal Peoples account for 17.5 percent of the population – showed that many believe “the RCMP is biased against indigenous people.” However, the watchdog was “unable to substantiate” this through its policy and file review. http://bit.ly/2lkG6Cz

Immigrant detentions in Namibia

The Namibian reported today that the detention of 46 alleged illegal immigrants who have been kept in custody at police stations in the Windhoek area is unlawful, a government lawyer conceded in the Windhoek High Court yesterday. The case was brought to law by Ombudsman John Walters, who questioned the legality of the immigrants’ detention. Judge Ueitele confirmed an interim court order, which he issued on Monday, that the 46 should be released and be dealt with in terms of the provisions of the Immigration Control Act. Judge Ueitele also directed that immigration officers involved in the arrest and detention of the 46 should now indicate to the court why they should not be held liable in their personal capacities to cover the Ombudsman’s legal costs in the matter. http://bit.ly/2kswZ3e

Nisar orders inquiry against officials over torture of school children

The Express Tribune, from Pakistan, reports today that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has ordered an enquiry into the illegal detention and torture of two schoolchildren in Islamabad. The two 15-year-old boys, from Rawalpindi, were picked up by police on Sunday and allegedly beaten. During their 18 hour detention, the boys were allegedly  not allowed to contact their families and were forced to confess that they were out to rob people. http://bit.ly/2laIGZs

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.