Daily World News Digest, 21 April 2017

HRW calls for accountability over disappearances in Gambia

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today calling on Gambia’s government to prosecute those responsible for grave crimes committed during the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh. “Fair trials are crucial for victims and their families and for building respect for the rule of law in the country,” HRW said. In a 6 March letter to Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou, HRW encouraged the new government of President Adama Barrow to develop a strategy detailing how it intends to hold to account those implicated in arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances during Jammeh’s rule. http://bit.ly/2p26Aud

“Unprecedented” exploitation of child refugees

On Wednesday, Telesur carried a story about child refugees in Greece being sexually exploited on an unprecedented scale as they desperately seek to reach northern Europe, citing a report by Harvard University.  “This report documents a shocking and pervasive aspect of the current refugee crisis: the exposure of very young children to sexual exploitation as a survival strategy.” Prof Jacqueline Bhabha, co-author of the “Emergency Within an Emergency” said. While the report does not mention the number of children who have fallen victim to sexual exploitation, it claims that the largest group of children involved are of Afghan origin followed by Syrians, Iraqis, and Iranians. http://bit.ly/2pXSSFI

Thousands of Yemenis missing

Al Bawaba News carried a story on Thursday about the fate of thousands of disappeared in conflict-torn Yemen. Systematic kidnapping, torture and imprisonment are being used by both warring sides against political opponents, the media outlet says. Political activist Abdulkader Guneid shared his story of being taken from his house on 5 August 2015 by Houthi militia, and held incommunicado for more than nine months without charge or trial. The Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations reports more than 5,000 cases of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention in 2016, including that of 118 children and 20 women. Politicians are targeted most, with 1,032 disappeared. At least 703 activists and 297 academics have been taken. Moreover, 1,772 ordinary citizens are known to have been “disappeared”. http://bit.ly/2owN4ll

Activists evacuating LGBT+ individuals from Chechnya

Australian media outlet SBS, reported on Wednesday that activists are working to evacuate LGBT+ individuals from Chechnya as international pressure intensifies over reports of mass arrests and human rights violations targeting gay men. The Russia LGBT Network says it considers the alleged arrests, torturing and honor killing to be “a systematic crime against humanity”. Federal Russian prosecutors announced on Monday that they would open an investigation into the allegations. http://bit.ly/2osLMZy

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.