Daily World News Digest, 18 February 2015

Iraqi women trafficked into sexual slavery

India’s Zeenews reports on a statement issued in London today by Minority Rights Group International and the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights, which says that up to 10,000 women and girls in Iraq have been abducted or trafficked for sexual slavery, prostitution or ransom. The authors of a report issued by the two groups say trafficking in Iraq has “mushroomed” in recent years and that Islamic State (IS) has become a major actor in the buying and selling of girls, though IS “is not the first group to be involved in abducting and trafficking women.” http://bit.ly/1DpjjZ5

Egypt’s Copts still seeking work in Libya, despite IS beheadings

The Huffington Post UK reported on 16 February that Egyptian Coptic Christians are still seeking work in Libya despite the risks from IS militants. It cited a BBC report from the town where 13 of the 21 Egyptians recently murdered by IS in Libya came from and where locals were reported as saying that despite the kidnap and beheading of almost two dozen of their number, more and more young men were still leaving to seek work in Libya because of the absence of economic opportunities at home. http://huff.to/1yVLuHF

Bosnia: Two detained in war crimes investigation

The Anadolu news agency from Turkey reported on 17 February that two people have been detained on suspicion of carrying out crimes against humanity in the northern city of Bihac and the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo.  The two men, referred to by police as M.J., born in 1968, and S.V., born in 1966, were detained by officers from the State Investigation and Protection Agency, or SIPA, on suspicion of committing war crimes against civilians in the Livno area in 1992.  They are to be questioned at the Prosecutor’s Office after an official criminal investigation by SIPA is concluded. http://bit.ly/1CH5gLB

Amnesty International calls on Serbia to honor obligations to families of the missing

Amnesty International issued a statement on 16 February calling on Serbia to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, published on 13 February. The Committee’s recommendations “reveal how far Serbia has fallen short of their obligations under the Convention, which the country ratified in May 2011”, Amnesty said, noting that Serbia has failed to bring all those responsible for enforced disappearances to justice, and that it has violated its duty to respect and protect the rights of the victims of enforced disappearances – including the relatives of the disappeared. http://bit.ly/1ADWyjN

UN will do utmost regarding Kuwaiti missing persons

The Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) reported on 17 February that the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, on Tuesday told the Security Council and the families of Kuwaiti missing persons that the UN will continue to do its “utmost” to fulfill its mandate.  Mladenov said his team are working to reach a witness whom Kuwait believes may hold the key to identifying a grave site that could contain as many as 180 mortal remains. http://bit.ly/1E50w4z

Filipino General faces testimony in enforced disapearance case

The InterAksyon.com news portal in the Philippines reported on 16 February on a court case underway near Manila in which a retired army general who is on trial for the abduction and disappearance of two students faced testimony from a man abducted by the military in 2006 and held for a year and a half wthout trial. Raymond Manalo told the court that he saw the two missing students of the University of the Philippines held captive and tortured by Gen. Jovito Palparan’s men because, as someone who had also been held captive for months, he was directed to bring food to them. http://bit.ly/1L3AUXt

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.