Daily World News Digest, 20 December 2017

 Land rights activists face enforced disappearance

Communities around the world are locked in deadly struggles against governments, companies and criminal gangs exploiting land for products such as timber, minerals and palm oil. At least 116 people were killed between 1 January and 30 November, according to advocacy group PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP). The Philippines accounted for 61 victims, followed by Brazil with 22. A separate estimate by advocacy group Global Witness puts the number of victims at 170 so far this year. Meanwhile, in its global report, “Deadly but Preventable Attacks: Killings and Enforced Disappearances of Those who Defend Human Rights“, Amnesty International has said India is among the deadliest countries for defenders of rights related to land, territory and the environment. http://bit.ly/2B88jRW

Investigation into human trafficking fatalities in Malaysia

An investigation in Malaysia into mass killings in the north of the country in 2015 has revealed evidence suggesting a coordinated cover-up, according to the New Straits Times newspaper. Human trafficking death camps were found months before police announced their discovery, the paper says. In addition, police ordered the destruction of the camps, which were potential crime scenes, before they could be processed by forensics personnel. More than 150 sets of human remains, believed to be trafficking victims, were exhumed from shallow, unmarked graves in the village of Wang Kelian on the border with Thailand. http://bit.ly/2BkMXoj

Myanmar: journalists feared disappeared

Human Rights Watch has called on the authorities in Myanmar immediately to release two Reuters journalists arrested in Yangon for allegedly being in possession of leaked documents relating to police operations in Rakhine State. On the evening of 12 December, police detained Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27. Since then, the authorities have refused the journalists access to counsel and have provided no information on their whereabouts, raising concerns of enforced disappearance. http://bit.ly/2kqeg6l

 Ten bodies found in Myanmar mass grave

Myanmar’s army says it has found 10 sets of human remains in a mass grave in a largely Rohingya village in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Since violence erupted on 25 August, hundreds of villages have been burned and some 655,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh. http://bit.ly/2B6ldzA

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.