Daily World News Digest, 2 August 2017

Thai authorities accused of enforced disappearance

The Asia Times reported on 1 August on the case of Wuthipong Kochathamakun, a prominent Thai activist opposed to military rule, who was reportedly abducted in the Lao capital of Vientiane over the weekend after three years in self-imposed exile. Wuthipong’s wife told reporters that the men who abducted her husband spoke to each other in Thai. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan and army chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart denied any knowledge of the abduction. Wuthipong fled Thailand after the May 2014 coup that overthrew the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s younger sister, and installed a military junta that continues to rule the country with an iron fist. http://bit.ly/2vrSdmN

Clampdown on human rights defenders in Iran

Radio Free Europe today cites a report by Amnesty International saying that Iran’s judicial and security bodies “have waged a vicious clampdown on human rights defenders, vilifying and imprisoning activists who dare to stand up for people’s rights”. Scores of Iranian human rights defenders have been imprisoned on fabricated charges of threatening “national security, according to Amnesty. The report titled Caught in a Web of Repression: Iran’s Human Rights Defenders under Attack, features 45 individuals who have been subjected to abuses ranging from surveillance and harassment to criminal prosecutions and imprisonment for their peaceful human rights activities. http://bit.ly/2tYw23o

South Sudan: top leaders fail to end abuses

A Human Rights Watch report published on Tuesday accuses nine leaders in both of South Sudan’s warring parties of committing serious rights violations and possibly war crimes during 2016 and 2017. It says that both government and opposition leaders have failed to halt atrocities, including killings, rape, and forced displacement, or to hold those responsible to account. Nine men – including President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, former army chief of staff Paul Malong, and six other commanders – should face sanctions in view of the mounting evidence of their responsibility for grave violations during the conflict HRW says. http://bit.ly/2uNOaj0

Migrant deaths in Mediterranean in 2017

On 1 August the International Organization for Migration reported that 114,287 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 30 July. The total number of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 is 2,385. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,047) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year that migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350. Worldwide, there have been 3,382 fatalities in 2017 through 30 July with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total. http://bit.ly/2w5sw8T

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.