Daily World News Digest, 21 June 2016

Identifying migrants who have drowned

Swissinfo.ch, reported on 20 June that three years after the migrant boat tragedy in Lampedusa, in which 366 people drowned, relatives are still trying to identify bodies in order to conduct a dignified burial. It’s a difficult but important process which is being supported by the Swiss Red Cross. “We told them several times that they shouldn’t set out, but they didn’t listen. One day they got into a boat heading for Europe. We haven’t heard from them since,” says Bila Bila Barre from Somalia, recounting the story of her two nephews Hussene (20) und Maxamud (19). They wanted to travel to Italy via Libya. http://bit.ly/28JQmKa

Hong Kong leader to express concern over booksellers

The BBC reported on 20 June that Hong Kong’s chief executive will take up the alleged kidnapping of five booksellers with the central Chinese government in Beijing. CY Leung added he would review the way Hong Kong authorities are informed if a citizen breaks Chinese law. One of the five, Lam Wing-kee, now back in Hong Kong, says he considered ending his life while he was detained. Many believe the booksellers were detained because they sold gossipy books about China’s leaders. One of the men, Gui Minhai, is still in custody. http://bbc.in/28Kg7dJ

Refugee crisis: Number of people fleeing conflict hits record level

The Week, a weekly from the UK reported on 20 June that the UN is warning of worrying “climate of xenophobia” as 65 million people are forced to leave their homes. The number of people fleeing conflict and persecution around the world has reached an all-time high, according to an annual report from the United Nations. The total amount of refugees exceeded 65 million last year, an increase of more than six million from 2014. This means that 24 people were forced to flee their homes every minute of every day. The majority came from the conflict-ridden states of Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. http://bit.ly/28JRSwg

UN: Rohingya may be victims of crimes against humanity

AlJazeera reports today that widespread and ongoing violations against Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority, including denial of citizenship, forced labor and sexual violence, could amount to “crimes against humanity”, according to the United Nations. Some 125,000 Rohingya remain displaced and face severe travel restrictions in squalid camps since fighting erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012. Thousands have fled persecution and poverty. In a report issued on Monday, the UN human rights office said it had found “a pattern of gross violations against the Rohingya … [which] suggest a widespread or systematic attack … in turn giving rise to the possible commission of crimes against humanity if established in a court of law”. http://bit.ly/28L9cnT

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.