Daily World News Digest, 22 November 2017

ICTY to deliver verdict in Ratko Mladic trial

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia hands down its verdict on Wednesday in the trial of Ratko Mladic, who is accused of ordering the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, as well as crimes against humanity over the siege of Sarajevo in which 11,000 civilians died from shelling and sniper fire. Munira Subasic of the Mothers of Srebrenica group recalls how Mladic was filmed after the fall of Srebrenica telling women and children that nothing would happen. “After the cameras left he gave an order to kill whoever could be killed, rape whoever could be raped and finally he ordered us all to be banished and chased out of Srebrenica.” The remains of Subasic’s son Nermin and husband Hilmo were both found in mass graves by the International Commission of Missing Persons. ICMP has identified some 6,900 remains of Srebrenica victims through DNA analysis. http://reut.rs/2jdTRjt

Many Bosnian war victims still unidentified

It’s been 22 years since Bosnia’s bloody 1992-95 war ended, yet the remains of numerous victims of genocide and war crimes still await identification. Forensic anthropologist Dragana Vucetic spends her working hours in a forensic facility in the northern town of Tuzla collecting DNA samples from the bones of people killed in eastern Bosnia during the war, including in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, and reassembling their skeletal remains. Vucetic’s employer, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), has pioneered a DNA-based system to identify the remains. Through their efforts, over 70 percent of the estimated 30,000 persons missing from the Bosnian war have so far been accounted for. The figure includes nearly 7,000, or almost 90 percent, of the victims of Srebrenica. http://bit.ly/2BcGurV 

The “bone hunter” of Srebrenica

Ramiz Nukic is the bone hunter of Srebrenica. It is very, very difficult to find skulls,” he says, brushing a pile of leaves aside with a wooden stick. “I might find a skull on a hill and a body way below near the stream and they might be a match.” For the past 15 years he has been working voluntarily, walking for 30 kilometers every day around Srebrenica searching for human bones. He has helped the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) identify more than 250 bodies. http://bit.ly/2BdvxX2 

UN rights council urged to address Rohingya crisis

Amnesty International and 34 other humanitarian groups on Monday called on the UN Human Rights Council to hold a special session on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. The groups said the council should call on the Myanmar government to “immediately cease all human rights violations, including crimes against humanity”. They also urged the Council to address “the deterioration of the human rights situation in other parts of the country,” including “torture, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial executions and killing civilians through indiscriminate use of force by the Myanmar military.” http://bit.ly/2mVKutZ

Authorities yet to reveal whereabouts of Egyptian prisoner

Human Rights Watch is urging Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to reveal the whereabouts of an Egyptian prisoner who has disappeared, apparently after serving his prison sentence in the Emirati capital. HRW says that Mosaab Ahmed Abdel Aziz was to be released on 20 October but that his family was told he was deported to Egypt. Tuesday’s statement by HRW says neither Egypt nor the UAE responded to the family’s requests for information on their son. Rights groups say enforced disappearances and torture are endemic in Egypt, which denies such claims. http://abcn.ws/2A1WWLn

Transitional justice in Nepal

The commitment of the Nepalese authorities to addressing the issue of missing persons from the 1996-2006 conflict that killed 17000 people has again been called into question. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) have so far received more than 63,000 complaints but have not had the resources to address individual cases. Bishnu Pathak of the CIEDP says the commission has 15 staff but needs 40, and that the Ministry of Finance does not provide adequate funding. never “The government and political parties have turned a deaf ear to our frequent requests,” Pathak says. “We can’t expect them to provide constructive support in delivering justice to the victims.” http://bit.ly/2zYWVKw

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