Daily World News Digest, 20 January 2016

UN report: Islamic State has held 3,500 people as slaves in Iraq

CNBC carried a story today saying that an estimated 3,500 people, mainly women and children, are being held as slaves in Iraq by Islamic State militants, the UN said on Tuesday. The Islamist group, which also controls large parts of Syria, is responsible for acts that may “amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide”, particularly against minorities, a report said. Iraqi security forces and allied groups including Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have also killed and abducted civilians, it said. Between 800 and 900 children in Mosul had been abducted for military and religious training. Report says the intent of the Islamic State was clear – international crime of genocide against Yazidi people. http://cnb.cx/1OvVrq0

Family of missing Srinagar chemist accepts his death after 14 years

Hindustan Times reported today that for the first time in 25 years, a family of a missing man, who is among thousands of those who allegedly disappeared in security forces’ custody, has accepted that he is dead. The family of Manzoor Ahmad Dar, a chemist of Srinagar who allegedly disappeared in army custody 14-years ago accepted statement of law enforcement that the victim “could have died in custody of Army’s 35 Rashtriya Rifles.” Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) demand DNA identification of 2,700 unmarked and mass graves across north Kashmir. Manzoor’s case is the first one in which a family has accepted that their missing relative is dead, without even getting his body or any such sort of informing. http://bit.ly/20dZfBG

Crimes against Native American women raise questions about police response

The Guardian carried a story on 19 January saying that a recent spate of cases involving Native American women from northern Minnesota being murdered or going missing has raised questions about how seriously such disappearances are taken by the police and other authorities. Invisibility of the Native American population contributes to neglect by police, media and social services and point to the need for better data collection in order to track the number of missing and murdered women. Activists say that most of the missing women are trafficked to Canada by ships. However, they add that some cases of missing women are related to domestic violence as well. http://bit.ly/1n7Qpqp

Argentine court triggers search for Franco-era victims in Spain

Swissinfo news portal reported on 19 January that Spanish campaigners dug up a mass grave on Tuesday in a search for victims of the country’s civil war and the fascist dictatorship it put in place, as an Argentine court puts pressure on Spain to confront its troubled past. The exhumation, expected to last several days, is the first agreed to by a Spanish court at the behest of the Argentine investigators.  On the edge of a cemetery in Guadalajara, some 50 km from Madrid, volunteers dug open a grave believed to hold 22 or 23 bodies after a campaign by 90-year-old Ascension Mendieta, who is seeking her father’s remains. A historical memory association, which helped with the dig in Guadalajara, has carried out several exhumations in recent years at the request of families. http://bit.ly/1NjN2SC

Mexico: Nationwide caravans raise awareness for missing Ayotzinapa students

Telesur news portal reported on 19 January that a caravan traveling around Mexico to advocate for the 43 forcibly disappeared Ayotzinapa students arrived in the southern city of Oaxaca Tuesday in the latest action by the parents of the trainee teachers to demand their safe return Mexico’s attorney general, Arely Gomez, informed parents of the disappeared students about the new findings at a private meeting last week, which was also attended by the body of experts set up by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. Meanwhile, authorities reported they found the remains of two corpses and that experts have started the process to determine their identities, so far only the remains of one student have been identified. http://bit.ly/23e3hw7

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.