Daily World News Digest, 19 July 2017

Court delivers verdicts in Thailand human trafficking trial

Aljazeera reported on Wednesday that a court in Thailand is in the process of delivering verdicts in a case involving 103 defendants, in the country’s largest human trafficking trial to date. Among the accused are army generals, police and local politicians. Investigations began in 2015 after shallow graves containing 36 bodies were found in southern Thailand. It is believed that the victims were Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar through migration to Thailand and eventually Malaysia. It is believed that the victims were held for ransom in jungle camps in Thailand and only released once funds were received from relatives. http://bit.ly/2uBImJK

UNHCR urges new response to Mediterranean refugee crisis

UNHCR announced on 18 July that it is appealing for US$421 million in funding to provide alternatives to the growing number of refugees making dangerous journeys to Europe across the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean. So far this year, 2,360 refugees and migrants have died or are missing in the Mediterranean, many others are believed to have died trying to cross into Libya. “If the complexities of the situation are not addressed together in a coherent, joined-up way, we will only ever succeed in diverting problems onto others, creating space for smuggling and trafficking networks to thrive, and worsening the risks faced by refugees who are fleeing for their lives,” said Volker Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection. To deal with complex population movements involving shifting routes, UNHCR is proposing a comprehensive strategy with interventions in countries of origin and transit in sub-Saharan Africa, in North Africa, and in the destination countries in Europe. http://bit.ly/2toTD0L

Report claims North Korea conducts public executions for theft, watching South Korea media

On Wednesday Reuters carried a story about a report issued by the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) claiming that North Korea carries out public executions on river banks and at school grounds and marketplaces for charges such as stealing copper from factory machines, distributing media from South Korea and prostitution. The Seoul-based NGO said its report was based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors over a period of two years. The TJWG report aims to document the locations of public killings and mass burials, which it says had not been done previously, to support an international push to hold to account those who commit what it describes as crimes against humanity. http://reut.rs/2tFpZzx

Human Rights groups urge ICC investigation into human rights violations in Burundi

IWACU News reported on Tuesday that nine human rights organizations have urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to begin investigations in Burundi. The activists say the ICC should “promptly start a full investigation and issue arrest warrants” against those responsible for human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, forced disappearances and arbitrary arrests. Estimates from June 2016 to June 2017 suggest that 340 people have been unlawfully killed, 68 tortured and 788 illegally detained, according to activists. http://bit.ly/2uHLxAE

Lawsuit against Venezuelan President Maduro at ICC

Sputnik International reported on Tuesday that Colombian and Chilean senators have filed a lawsuit against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the International Criminal Court, citing torture, illegal imprisonment and murder of political opponents. http://bit.ly/2tFhvsm

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.