Daily World News Digest, 19 February 2016

ICTY to unveil Karadzic verdict on 24 March

Yahoo News reported on 18 February that after seven years behind bars, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will finally learn next month whether judges have found him guilty of some of Europe’s worst atrocities since World War II. The complex trial was beset by delays due to Karadzic’s ill-health and dragged on as it heard from more than 585 witnesses called for both sides. Karadzic, 70, is notably accused of genocide for his alleged role in the Srebrenica massacre. He also faces charges related to the sniping and shelling committed during the 44-month-long siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. http://yhoo.it/1SVIFpq

At least 100 bodies found in sewer system under Colombian prison

CNN reported on 18 February that Colombian authorities are investigating the disappearance and dismemberment of at least 100 people whose bodies were allegedly thrown into a sewer system underneath a notorious prison in Bogota. The investigation is focusing on La Modelo, one of Colombia’s largest and most overpopulated prisons. But officials say the practice of dismembering people and tossing their remains into sewers might have also happened at other prisons. Officials may never be able to determine the identity of the bodies found underneath the prison. http://cnn.it/24dMjP0

Pope: Disputes prevented meeting with kin of Mexico’s missing 43

Fox News Latino reported on 18 February that Pope Francis said Thursday that he did not meet with relatives of 43 trainee teachers kidnapped 18 months ago in southern Mexico because he had received multiple requests from different groups, “including ones at odds with one another.” He also said that during his visit to Mexico he made “constant reference to the killings, the lives claimed by gangs of drug traffickers and people traffickers, to the violence as one of the wounds Mexico has suffered.” The parents of the 43 abducted trainee teachers, however, denied Thursday that they had any problems with other associations of families of missing persons. http://bit.ly/1PK5Ij4

Egypt: Authorities keep denying lawyer’s disappearance

All Africa news portal carried a story on 18 February saying that a 48-year-old lawyer and member of liberal political party Al Dostour, Raafat Faisal Ali Shehata – also known as Ahsraf Shehata – disappeared in the hands of the Egyptian Homeland Security more than two years ago, on 13 January 2014. While the authorities continue to deny his detention claiming that Ashraf left Egypt, his wife was told by several former detainees or families of detainees that he was effectively detained. Ashraf’s relatives contacted Alkarama, hoping its work with the United Nations human rights protection mechanisms might help shed light on Ashraf’s disappearance. http://bit.ly/212mWR5

Missing and murdered women: A look at 5 cases not included in official RCMP tally

CBC News carried a story on 18 February saying that no one can say for certain how many missing or murdered indigenous women are there in Canada. The number 1,181 has been widely accepted after the release of a RCMP report in 2014. But that report doesn’t necessarily provide a complete picture. The RCMP report only included police-documented homicide cases between 1980 and 2012, and did not count “suspected homicides or deaths deemed suspicious.” A CBC News investigation into the unsolved cases of missing or murdered indigenous women identified more than 230 cases, including several that would not have been included in the RCMP report. http://bit.ly/1Vrqaa3

EU continued support for Cyprus’ missing

In-Cyprus news portal reported on 18 February that European Parliament and European Commission officials have assured the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus of their continued support particularly at this important moment for the divided island. This is what a CMP announcement said on Thursday at the end of a two-day working visit to Brussels by the three-member committee. UN-brokered Cyprus talks aiming towards reunification have reached a crucial point now that thorny issues such as territory, property and guarantees have come under the microscope. http://bit.ly/1SDJKSy

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.