Daily World News Digest, 20 April 2016

Mass graves discovered in former Isis-controlled Iraqi city of Ramadi

The Independent reported today that mass graves containing around 40 people, including women and children, have been discovered in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, officials have said. The bodies are believed to be victims of Islamist extremist group Isis, who controlled the city until December 2015. Officials said Isis militants who were captured and arrested after Iraqi forces drove the extremists from the city, led authorities to the site of the mass graves inside the city’s football stadium. In addition to women and children, the bodies of men in civilian clothes were found in the two graves. http://ind.pn/1NAowOG

Commission for Missing Persons boycotts forum on 1965 anti-communist purge

Coconuts Jakarta, a news portal from Indonesia, carried a story on 19 April saying that Commission for Mising Persons (Kontras) activists boycotted a state-backed forum on the anti-communist purge of 1965 on Tuesday, a day after a senior minister said the government would not apologize for the one of the darkest periods in Indonesia’s history. “This conference is a far cry from what the government should be doing, which is following through with legal processes to address the human rights abuses of 1965,” said Haris Azhar of Kontras, one of several prominent activists who boycotted the two-day event. http://bit.ly/1VBbn0j

USA and Russia asked to pressure Turkey over the missing

In-Cyprus new portal reported on 19 April that relatives of missing persons on Tuesday called on the US and Russia to exert pressure on Turkey to cooperate for effective investigation to determine the fate of the people missing since the summer of 1974. A delegation of Pancyprian Organization of Relatives Of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons together with representatives of Women Organizations of Cyprus visited the USA and Russian embassies in Nicosia to hand over a relative resolution. In its resolution, the Organization noted that despite the positive steps achieved in recent years within the framework of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), the Committee has not been able until now to secure the full cooperation of all parties concerned which would enable it to start the necessary effective investigation. http://bit.ly/1SutF2j

Nigeria: Issues in the Zaria mass burials

All Africa news portal reported today that the outline of the bloody encounter between the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria is emerging. According to the Director-General, Kaduna State Interfaith Agency, Mr Namadi Musa, it took the officials about six hours to complete their mass burial in a single grave. Amnesty International said that “it is now imperative that the mass grave sites are protected in order that a full independent forensic investigation can begin.” However, new revelations about the number of corpses brought from the army barracks, all of them buried in one day and in a single grave, raise questions whether the identities of the dead bodies were ascertained before they were given a mass burial. http://bit.ly/1WEBUZr

Zimbabwe: Deplorable attack on brother of missing activist must be urgently investigated

Amnesty International issued a statement on 19 April saying that the brutal assault by Zimbabwe’s state security agents on the brother of the abducted pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara must be urgently and impartially investigated and those responsible brought to justice. Patson Dzamara held up a placard reading “Independent but not free – where is my brother Itai” near a VIP tent when up to 10 security agents set upon him. Itai Dzamara disappeared in March last year after he was bundled into a car by five unidentified men in Glenview, Harare. He has not been seen since. http://bit.ly/1Sa3GeB

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.