Daily World News Digest, 19 February 2015

French appeals court blocks torture suspect’s extradition to Argentina

Radio France Internationale reported on 18 February that France’s top appeals court has ruled against extraditing a former Argentine police officer wanted for alleged torture, kidnapping and murder under the country’s military dictatorship in the 1970s. The Cour de Cassation overturned a decision by another court last year approving the extradition of Mario Alfredo Sandoval but it ordered the case against him to be reexamined. Sandoval, who obtained French nationality in the 1980s, is wanted for the 1976 kidnapping of student Hernan Abriata, who was never seen again, and a number of other cases of opponents of the then-ruling junta who disappeared. http://rfi.my/1Jr3Mvs

Missing persons’ families protest in Sri Lanka

The Tamilnet web portal reported on 18 February that family members of missing persons staged a day-long fast in the eastern town of Batticaloa city on Monday carrying the clothes and photographs of young Tamils believed to have been arrested or abducted by Sri Lankan security forces. Around 300 young Tamils were reported missing in the Batticaloa district between 2007 and 2010, many of them apparently victims of “white van” squads, government plainclothes officials using unmarked vehicles to apprehend suspects, without any record or accountability. http://bit.ly/1z1cENe

Serbia seeks 1,869 Serbs who went missing in Croatia

The InSerbia web portal reported on 18 February that Serbia is seeking 1,869 Serbs who went missing in Croatia, according to President of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia, Miodrag Linta.  Linta told Tanjug national news that he expects that Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s recent visit to Zagreb will open a continuous dialogue between the two states and create preconditions for resolving open issues. http://bit.ly/1DuncvK

Correct Identification in Cyprus

On 18 February the Greek Reporter carried Wednesday’s statement from the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) that it had “identified the right person” in the case of missing Greek-Cypriot Georgios Foris. Foris had been missing since the 1974 Turkish military invasion. After his remains were exhumed from a well in northern Cyprus, along with the remains of another 38 unidentified individuals, his family contested the identification process. “In this case, as in the 567 other cases of missing persons identified by the CMP, we can certify that the right person was identified,” a CMP member said, though he added that an investigation would be undertaken to examine whether bones other than those of the victim had been included in the remains returned to the family. http://bit.ly/1Lgnho1

Lebanese authorities urged to reveal location of Syrian nationals

Human Rights Watch called on 17 February on Lebanese authorities to reveal the whereabouts of two Syrian nationals who disappeared following their transfer to the custody of General Security, one in October 2014 and the other in November. General Security, the country’s security agency in charge of foreigners’ entry and residency, has refused to disclose what happened to the men, Osama Qaraqouz and Bassel Haydar, despite repeated requests for information from their relatives and Human Rights Watch, the HRW statement said. Their families fear that General Security deported them back to Syria and into the custody of the Syrian government. General Security’s concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the two men could amount to the crime of enforced disappearance, HRW said. http://bit.ly/1FmWdD5

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.