Daily World News Digest, 2 June 2017

Iraq: dispute over excavation of Ezidi mass graves

Foreign Policy on Thursday featured a story about problems in unearthing the Ezidi mass graves in Sinjar due to disagreement over who has responsibility for exhuming the graves, the Kurdistan Regional Government or Baghdad. Iraq is not a member of the International Criminal Court, and its law system does not contain provisions for genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. Fawaz Abbas, the deputy head of the International Commission on Missing Persons says that ICMP staff and local experts have been on standby for more than a year to get started on the exhumation, but have been held up by a lack of government approval. http://atfp.co/2rJLIKq

EU “disregarding international law” with migrant strategy

The Independent reported on Thursday that the US-based Refugees International group has warned that the EU’s push to prevent boats leaving the Libyan coast could fuel horrific abuse. Researchers have gathered harrowing testimony from asylum seekers who managed to survive the crossing to Europe. The report argues that the fate of people who are seeking international protection is effectively absent from the plans outlined by EU leaders to tackle the Central Mediterranean route, and it says that EU countries cannot send refugees and migrants back to Libya without violating international law, so they are empowering the Libyan authorities to do this instead. http://ind.pn/2qE657i

More than 40 refugees found dead in Sahara desert

Press TV, from Iran, reported on Thursday that more than 40 bodies have been found in the Sahara desert in Niger. The bodies of dozens of refugees, including women and children, have been found where they were apparently abandoned by smugglers en route to Libya. A security source told Press TV that the victims died of thirst after their vehicle broke down. http://bit.ly/2s0IwcX

Iran: mass grave site under threat from construction work

On Thursday, Amnesty International reported that a mass grave site in Ahvaz, in southern Iran, containing the remains of at least 44 people who were extrajudicially executed in 1988 is under threat of destruction, as photo and video evidence shows bulldozers working on a construction project directly alongside the site. “It is believed that the grave contains the bodies of dozens of people who were among several thousand political prisoners killed in a wave of extrajudicial executions across Iran in the summer of 1988, but to date, no Iranian officials have been investigated and brought to justice for the extrajudicial executions,” Amnesty said. http://bit.ly/2rHWnoF

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.