Daily World News Digest, 20 June 2017

Canada: Police fail Indigenous women in Saskatchewan

In a submission to the Government of Canada, Human Rights Watch on Monday expressed serious concern over police abuse of indigenous women in Saskatchewan. The submission is based on research, including interviews with 64 indigenous women, in Saskatchewan between January and July 2016. HRW warns that lack of accountability for policing abuses against indigenous women exacerbates long-standing tensions between police and Indigenous communities in Canada. “The crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada means that police services across the country should be acutely aware of and sensitive to the well-being, vulnerability, and needs of Indigenous women,” said Farida Deif, Canada director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, in some cases, it is the police themselves who are making Indigenous women feel unsafe.”  http://bit.ly/2sOL4uX

Human rights violations in northern Myanmar

Newsweek carried an opinion piece on 19 June discussing the fighting that has displaced thousands of people in northern Myanmar amid widespread accusations of human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, by the military. The piece includes testimony of two witnesses in a village who watched as “18 men were marched off at gunpoint; then they heard gunfire. The witnesses fled to China, returning weeks later to find several shallow holes in the forest near the village.” According to the witnesses, “We dug in one hole. A woman recognized her husband’s keychain. Another one recognized a shoe. It looked like the bodies had been burned.” http://bit.ly/2rQeXGF

Enforced disappearances in North Korea

Voice of America carries a story today noting that the death on Monday of US student Otto Warmbier after being released from a North Korean prison in a coma has highlighted widespread human rights violations allegedly being committed by the Kim Jong Un government. The article cites a 2014 UN report finding that between 80,000 and 120,000 political prisoners are currently detained in four large political prison camps in North Korea; the use of torture is an established feature of the interrogation process; and persons who are found to have engaged in major political crimes are “disappeared,” without trial or judicial order, to political prison camps known as kwanliso. http://bit.ly/2sR8NL2

UN makes preliminary observations on enforced disappearances in Gambia

Freedom Newspaper from Gambia today published preliminary observations of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) following its visit to Gambia. The visit took place from 12 to 19 June 2017. Among other issues, WGEID noted obstacles in the identification of bodies due to a lack of adequate technical means and resources, notably for appropriate DNA testing. The report emphasizes that Gambian authorities need to ensure that all victims of enforced disappearances and their relatives have the right to full reparation, which includes compensation, satisfaction, restitution, rehabilitation and guarantees of non-repetition. http://bit.ly/2sK4Oj1

US drug enforcement connected to disappearances in Mexico

On Monday, the Washington Post carried a story noting that deaths and disappearances of 60 people around the Mexican border town of Allende have been linked to the leakage of information about the local Zeta cartel that was shared with Mexican police by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Victims included an 81-year-old woman, as well as her 6-month-old great-grandson, while one family lost nearly 20 members, according to the article. http://wapo.st/2rQ9DDj

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.