Daily World News Digest, 22 March 2016

Karadzic faces day of reckoning at ICTY

Yahoo News reported on 21 March that once-feared Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will Thursday stand before UN war crimes judges to learn if, 20 years on, they find him guilty of the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II. The notorious political leader faces 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity arising out of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war in which 100,000 people perished and 2.2 million were forced from their homes. Karadzic’s verdict “will for sure be one of the most important in the history of the tribunal,” ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said. About 100 representatives from survivors’ groups will attend Thursday’s judgment, including survivors of the detention camps and the mothers of Srebrenica. http://yhoo.it/1pZiOkh

CoE:Turkish army refusal to allow search an obstacle to progress in establishing the fate of missing persons in Cyprus

Famagusta Gazette from Cyprus reported today that Progress has been made in Cyprus, in resolving cases of missing persons, in comparison to other countries, Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights notes in a recent paper. He also refers to the inability of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) “to exhume even a single grave for over 20 years” due to the lack of bi-communal co-operation and trust, as well as “the persistent refusal” of the Turkish military, occupying the northern part of the island since 1974. The Commissioner has nine recommendations for European governments, calling among others for truth-seeking initiatives. http://bit.ly/1RcHNuA

UN: length of forced disappearance irrelevant when considering criminality

The Jurist carried a story on 21 March saying that the length of time a person is forcibly disappeared is irrelevant when considering the criminality of the act, UN rights experts concluded Monday. The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) examined the case of Argentinian prisoner Roberto Yrusta, who had been disappeared for seven days and nights after a prison transfer, before being found dead in a cell not long after his location was revealed. The UN experts urged Argentina to consider the families of disappeared person victims as well. http://bit.ly/1SeKhrf

Despite international support, Egypt continues to discount EU parliament resolution

Daily News Egypt carried a story on 21 March saying that Egypt’s Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal spoke at the 134th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Despite international support, Egypt continues to criticize the EU parliament following the latter’s recent resolution condemning torture and human rights violations in the country. MP Ahmed Saeed is heading the Egyptian parliamentary delegation working on the resolution. “The EU parliament unjustifiably inserted itself in Regeni’s case without waiting for official investigations to conclude,” he said. European Parliament’s resolution called on the Egyptian authorities to tackle human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances. http://bit.ly/1VyBnb6

UN: Around 25,000 Rohingya left Myanmar camps in past year

Reuters reported on 21 March that around 25,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority group have left camps for displaced people in western Myanmar and returned to the communities they fled during sectarian violence in 2012. Many of them were smuggled or trafficked to Thailand, Malaysia and beyond. The number of migrants has fallen sharply this year from previous years, the UN said. Volker Turk, assistant high commissioner for protection at the UNHCR said that including stronger activities against smuggling and trafficking and the discovery of the mass graves last year led to this decrease. http://reut.rs/1ZjAB1K

Group petitions ICC to investigate Zaria massacre

Sahara Reporters carried a story on 21 March saying that the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the massacre of nearly 1000 civilians in Zaria, Nigeria that took place last December. According to the filing submitted by the IHRC, Nigerian soldiers attacked unarmed members and supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Zaria, Kaduna State on 12 -14 December, 2015, and their actions constitute crimes against humanity. According to sources gathered by the IHRC, 217 civilians were confirmed killed in the attacks, while 219 are in detention and another 482 are missing. http://bit.ly/25hU07m

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.