Daily World News Digest, 19 May 2017

HRW criticizes Sri Lanka counterterrorism but says it could prevent enforced disappearances

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on Thursday saying that Sri Lanka’s latest counterterrorism bill falls far short of the government’s pledges to the UN Human Rights Council to end abusive detention without charge. “Even though the bill improves upon the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA),” HRW says, “it would still permit many of the abuses occurring under current law such as that suspects may be detained without charge for 12 months. The HRW statement adds, however, that “several provisions under the proposed counterterrorism law are improvements, such as greater detainee access to counsel, entry of magistrates and Human Rights Commission officers to detention facilities, and reporting requirements that could help prevent enforced disappearances.” http://bit.ly/2q2J5Or

Mexico: mothers and families of the missing demand the truth

On Thursday, the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) reported on street demonstrations that were organized by families of the disappeared in Mexico to mark last Sunday’s Mother’s Day. The article notes that more than 27,000 people have disappeared in Mexico since 2006, when the war on drugs was declared and a massive military offensive was launched against drug cartels. With 855 mass graves discovered so far, the NACLA says that accounting for the missing will be a huge undertaking. http://bit.ly/2qYD6yZ

Philippines: human rights group urges government to stop extrajudicial killings

On Thursday, ABS CBN reported that the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates had warned the government to follow UN recommendations and end extrajudicial killings. The group said it would press President Duterte’s administration to “accept all recommendations,” including calls not to reinstate the death penalty or lower the age of criminal responsibility. http://bit.ly/2qvXDd6

Pulitzer winning photographer: ‘’Slave market in Libya is an industry’’

On Wednesday, Reuters carried an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Narciso Contreras about “slave markets” in Libya. Contreras forged contacts with migrants, people smugglers and tribespeople when he travelled through Libya in 2016. He says the humanitarian crisis of migrants trying to reach Europe is well documented because the Libyan authorities want this story to be told, but the vast market in human beings is largely undocumented. Among other things, Contreras has documented detention centers where migrants endure overcrowding, lack of sanitation and beatings. http://tmsnrt.rs/2ryigTm

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.