Daily World News Digest, 18 March 2015

Serbia arrests seven over 1995 Srebrenica massacre

The BBC reports today that Serbian police have arrested seven men accused of taking part in the murder of more than 1,000 Muslims at a warehouse on the outskirts of Srebrenica. The seven are among the first to be arrested by Serbia for carrying out the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995, Serbian and Bosnian prosecutors say. Serbia has previously detained individuals not directly involved in the killings. In 2011 it handed Ratko Mladic over to the Hague Tribunal. http://bbc.in/1ADWICm

Enforced disappearances reported in Cairo

The website of Alkarama, an activist organization, reported on 17 March that on Thursday 12 March the organization sent an urgent appeal to the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) regarding the disappearances of Ibrahim Ahmed Shaker, aged 20, Serag Eldin Ali Awad Abdel Mawla, 17, Metwally Abou Al Majd Suleiman Mohamed, 45 and his son Hisham Metwally Abou Al Majd Mohamed, 18. The four men were abducted in January 2015 and have not reappeared, Alkarama said. Two of the four had been arrested in 2014 on charges related to participation in a demonstration; they were released but subsequently detained. http://bit.ly/1MIKlfM

Bangladesh: investigate case of enforced disappearance

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today calling on the Bangladeshi authorities to order an independent investigation into the enforced disappearance of Salah Uddin Ahmed, spokesperson and joint-secretary of the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP). Ahmed was last seen on the evening of 10 March 2015 when, according to an eyewitness, he was taken away by men identifying themselves as belonging to the Detective Branch of the police. The government has denied involvement or knowledge of his whereabouts. Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented enforced disappearances in Bangladesh, largely by members of the security forces since at least 2007. In 2012, BNP leader Elias Ali also went missing, and the authorities have failed to determine his fate. http://bit.ly/19yFNec

DNA to identify bodies in KwaZulu-Natal mass grave

IOL News from South Africa reported on 17 March that DNA testing could help identify bodies found in mass graves on a KwaZulu-Natal farm. The graves, which were discovered several months ago, were announced by the KwaZulu-Natal government at the weekend. Dr Carolyn Hancock, a DNA expert, said DNA samples would be collected by a forensic pathologist. If the bodies were badly decomposed, the DNA would largely be taken from bones and then compared to that of close relatives of the deceased. http://bit.ly/1xdQ0r2

DNA finds 1980 Minnesota murder victim was missing Texas teen

Reuters reported on 17 March that DNA tests have solved a 35-year-old mystery, identifying a hitchhiker that a former Minnesota state trooper confessed to strangling as a missing Texas teenage girl. Michelle Busha, who was 18 when she disappeared, had been buried in a Minnesota cemetery as a Jane Doe. Her body was exhumed in August under a state effort to identify dozens of anonymous remains. http://reut.rs/1BTe9Tv

Pakistan: two missing persons died in custody, court told

The Dawn news portal in Pakistan reported on 17 March that the Supreme Court was told on Tuesday that two missing persons earlier believed to have been ‘disappeared’ but later found incarcerated at an internment center have since died of cardiac arrest. The Court was hearing a petition by rights activist on behalf of the two detained men. Both men were sent to internment centers established under the Action in Aid of Civil Power Regulations (AACPR) 2011, promulgated by former president Asif Ali Zardari. The AACPR allows the civil government to confine persons accused of terrorism. It was promulgated on June 27, 2011 with retrospective effect from February 2008. http://bit.ly/1LsXwob

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.