Daily World News Digest, 20 October 2016

Call for China to release abducted Swedish bookseller

Eurasia Review reports today that Human Rights Watch has called on the Chinese government immediately to release Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai, who disappeared from Thailand a year ago and reappeared in custody in China. The Chinese government has provided little information about the enforced disappearances and detentions of Gui and four other bookseller colleagues in Thailand, Hong Kong, and China. “A full year has gone by, yet all that’s clear is that Chinese authorities have grossly violated the rights of the five booksellers both within and outside China’s borders,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “China’s willingness to snatch people in Thailand and Hong Kong with the apparent involvement of their governments adds to the concerns.” http://bit.ly/2emcjYa

Yazidis wait to learn the fate of loved ones in Mosul

Fox News reported yesterday thatCAIRO as the highly anticipated assault on the Da’esh stronghold of Mosul moves forward, members of the minority Yazidi community wait with grim anticipation to learn the fate of loved ones trapped or enslaved in Iraq’s second-largest city. Yazidi hostages, sex slaves and even young men brainwashed and conscripted into the black-clad jihadist army are inside the city. And the beleaguered Yazidi community knows those may be the lucky ones. Some 22 Yazidi mass graves have recently been unearthed in different locales across the mountainside, with many more likely to be discovered in the coming weeks. According to Chawish, there are now over 1,000 Yazidi orphans and more than 400,000 of their people remain homeless. http://fxn.ws/2elvrWn

Balochistan enforced disappearances

Balochwarna News reported yesterday about the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has stated that abducted persons are being killed in staged encounters. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Chairman, Nasrullah Baloch said this at a press conference in Quetta on Tuesday evening. The press conference was held to demand the safe release of Ali Asghar Bangulzai who the organization says was abducted by Pakistani forces 15 years ago. The Pakistani police say that Bangulzai and others were killed during an encounter with security forces but Nasrullah Baloch argues that these people were already in the custody of Pakistani security agencies.  He said that the accused persons were killed in staged encounters. http://bit.ly/2ejoq6P

Cyprus missing persons files digitised

The Cyprus Mail reported yesterday that a number of testimonies concerning missing persons have not been yet assessed even after 42 years, according to Commissioner for Humanitarian affairs Fotis Fotiou. Fotiou presented the digitisation project of some 2,000 files on missing persons with the aim of creating a database, which could be used by all services dealing with the issue. “The basic aim is the effective utilisation of information,” Fotiou said. He added that this was also a goal set by President Nicos Anastasiades. Among the digitised files are dozens of testimonies and information for each area in which missing persons were last seen. He added that users of the database will be able to retrieve all existing information concerning different locations. An important element, Fotiou said, is the classification per informant “and there are hundreds of testimonies”. http://bit.ly/2emMQJM

UK dentists condemn call for child migrants’ teeth to be tested

BBC News carried an article yesterday about several unaccompanied children who have arrived to join relatives in the UK – amid suggestions they could be adults. Monmouth MP David Davies said mandatory teeth checks would reassure people, but the British Dental Association said it was unethical. The Home Office said additional checks on their ages would be made. Once in the UK, it is understood further checks will include interviews with their relatives and fingerprinting to cross check with other records which may contain details of their age. The BBC understands 39 children with links to Britain have arrived this week, after French authorities ratified a list drawn up by the charity Citizens UK, which is working with the government to bring unaccompanied minors over from Calais. However, photographs of some of the children have been printed on the front pages of some national newspapers, along with headlines questioning their ages. http://bbc.in/2enWuNi

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.