Daily World News Digest, 18 November 2016

Mosul: Hundreds of bodies discovered in mass graves near city

CNN reported yesterday that Iraqi security forces have discovered two mass graves near the city of Mosul containing around 250 bodies.  The graves were found near the town of Hammam al-Alil and were created by Islamic State militants, Iraqi Federal Police Commander Brig. Gen. Faris Radhi Abbas told CNN. Their discovery follows the uncovering of 100 decapitated bodies in another mass grave near the same town on 7 November. Hammam al-Alil is on the Tigris River around 30 kilometers south of Mosul. It was liberated by Iraqi Federal Police about 10 days ago. Iraqi forces entered Mosul on 3 November. One of the mass graves mentioned on Thursday was discovered inside a well. “We believe the well contains more than 200 bodies. ISIS used this mass grave to kill and dump people over the past two years,” Abbas told CNN. http://cnn.it/2g1zYcj

CII takes up plight of ‘wives of the disappeared’ in Pakistan

Dawn, a newspaper from Pakistan, reports today that Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Thursday noted the need to give the wives of missing or disappeared individuals the option to remarry and directed its research cell to determine a solution that would be practical and in accordance with the tenets of Islam. The last session of the council to be chaired by Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani before his retirement next month also witnessed serious discussion over the draft of their women protection bill and a draft child rights bill. Both bills are being formulated by the CII and will be forwarded to the Ministry of Law and Justice. Council members on Thursday thoroughly discussed clauses related to women’s right to remarry in the draft bill. http://bit.ly/2g2IBab

Yemen: Houthi rebels accused by HRW of child torture and deaths in detention

Middle East Eye reported yesterday that Human Rights Watch accused Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Thursday of arbitrarily detaining, torturing and forcibly disappearing opponents since they overran the capital in September 2014. The group said it had documented two deaths in custody and 11 cases of alleged torture, one of a child. It said they were among hundreds of reported cases of arbitrary detention by the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies – renegade troops loyal to ousted strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh. The rebels are battling government forces who are backed by a Saudi-led coalition, which intervened in March 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into exile. In August and September 2016, HRW interviewed five former detainees and 19 relatives and friends of those detained in Sanaa and elsewhere in Yemen. “The conflict with the Saudi Arabia-led coalition provides no justification for torture and ‘disappearance’ of perceived opponents,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW. http://bit.ly/2g2KtzE

Four women fight deportation from Israel

The International Middle East Media Centre reports today on the Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel’s legal representation of four of the 13 women detained by the Israeli military when it commandeered their Gaza-bound boat, dubbed “The Women’s Boat to Gaza”. Detention of the women was illegal as they were forced by the military to enter Israeli territory, therefore not ‘illegally staying’ in the country, the report says. The Israeli navy took control of the Women’s Boat to Gaza, also known as the Zaytouna-Oliva, and its female crew on the night of 5 October as they attempted to breach the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip to call world attention to the grave humanitarian and human rights situation there. The vessel was stopped approximately 35 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza and Israeli military forces brought its crew and passengers to the Givon detention center in Ramle. The four women are: Ann Wright (United States, former army colonel and American diplomat), Marama Davidson (New Zealand, parliament member), Sandra Barrilaro (Spain, photographer), Mairead Maguire (Ireland, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner). http://bit.ly/2fC7LMc

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.