Daily World News Digest, 22 May 2017

Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang still missing

BBC News carried a story today about Wang Quanzhang, a lawyer who was detained by the Chinese authorities in August 2015 as part of a nationwide operation in which more than 200 lawyers, legal assistants and human rights activists were brought in for questioning. Almost two years later, Mr Wang is the only lawyer from whom nothing has been heard at all. His wife, Li Wenzu, said he has no right to communicate with the outside world as he has been deprived of all rights. There have been allegations that some of the lawyers have been tortured during their detention. http://bbc.in/2qb1453

Nepal: disappeared people registered as deceased

The Himalayan Times, carried a story on Saturday noting that family members of at least 150 disappeared persons have registered complaints with the Commission of Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP). However, a CIEDP spokesperson said a decision has not yet been made on whether or not to begin an enquiry as these people are listed as “deceased” in office records. The victims’ families had lodged complaints at their respective local registrar’s offices that their relatives had died in the course of the rebellion and thus acquired their death certificates in order to receive financial relief. http://bit.ly/2r7QDEn

Thailand: Three years of Junta’s Empty promises to respect rights and restore democracy

On Sunday, Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying that Thailand’s government has failed to fulfill pledges to respect human rights and restore democratic rule three years after the military coup. “The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) pushed the new constitution, which was promulgated on March 6, 2017 ensuring that NCPO members will not be held accountable for any of the many rights violations committed since taking power. Under NCPO Orders 3/2015 and 13/2016, military authorities have the power to secretly detain people for up to seven days without charge and interrogate them without access to lawyers or safeguards against mistreatment. Human Rights Watch has frequently raised serious concerns regarding secret military detention in Thailand. The junta continues to refuse to provide information about people in secret detention.” http://bit.ly/2qLACmz

Cambodians remember victims of Killing Fields

Reuters reported on Friday about hundreds of people gathering at one of Cambodia’s most notorious Killing Fields to remember victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide of at least 1.8 million Cambodians in the 1970s. The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. A tower of skulls and bones stands at the center of a memorial to an era in which hardly any Cambodian family was spared losses. Most of the victims died of starvation, torture, exhaustion or disease in labor camps or were bludgeoned to death during mass executions. http://reut.rs/2qG9HbA

5,000 refugees rescued on route to Italy from Libya

Al Jazeera reported on Sunday that 5,000 refugees were rescued on the route from Libya to Italy last week. About 2,900 people were rescued on Thursday, 2,300 of whom were found in international waters and taken to Italy, while 580 who were picked up in Libyan waters were returned to Libya. Through Friday until Saturday morning, coastguards rescued another 2,100 refugees packed in 17 vessels, but found the body of one man who had drowned, the Italian coastguard said. http://bit.ly/2rGhfJX

Charities prepare to withdraw from Greek islands, refugees to be left without vital services

The Independent reported on Sunday that thousands of refugees in Greece are at risk of losing vital support when charities withdraw services from camps on the islands, as changes to EU funding are set to leave them out of contract by the end of July. The Greek government will take over funding and managing support services to the camps on 31 July, but aid organizations fear the transition has been poorly planned. http://ind.pn/2qaX4le

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.