Daily World News Digest, 23 September 2016

Enforced disappearances in Egypt

Middle East Monitor reported yesterday on a statement released by the Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK), which said that cases of forced disappearance in Egypt “have become rampant” since the July 2013 coup. The families of detainees killed after being forcibly disappeared are told they were never arrested in the first place, or that they died in clashes with the police. Many letters enquiring about victims’ whereabouts or fate go unanswered. More than 37 Egyptians have been missing for longer than 3 years following their arrest in the aftermath of the July 2013 military coup, according to AOHR UK. http://bit.ly/2csn8GD

Sri Lanka: Office on Missing Persons

Global Voices published an article yesterday on the Office on Missing Persons in Sri Lanka. It said 11 August 2016 was an important day because Sri Lanka’s Parliament enacted legislation to establish the first permanent entity to investigate enforced and involuntary disappearances and missing persons. Although Sri Lanka now has legislation establishing a permanent body to investigate these cases, no official figures are available on the exact numbers of disappearances and the missing in Sri Lanka. The recently concluded Paranagama Commission received over 25,000 complaints of missing persons. Over the years multiple commissions have received thousands more complaints. This means thousands across Sri Lanka continue to search for answers. http://bit.ly/2cVLgjY

Burundi officers face crimes against humanity charges

Eagle.co.ug, a public affairs news analysis and investigation website from Uganda, reported yesterday that witnesses had named 12 senior members of the security forces — who report directly to the heart of government — as being responsible for disappearances. Some of the people who said they had been tortured reported being held in secret jails, including at the homes of the president and a government minister. The government denied the existence of such death lists and said the accusations came from “those who want to sow division and panic within the defense and security corps”. Satellite imagery has suggested the existence of mass graves, but the government has not offered to investigate these sites, the report said. http://bit.ly/2deql9f

Roadmap for Balochistan

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) yesterday published an article about an event it organized in Geneva on the margins of the UN Human Rights Council session. In cooperation with the Nonviolent Radical Party (NRPTT), UNPO convened a forum on enforced disappearances in Balochistan. Michelle Kissenkoetter, Director of the Asia Bureau of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), focused her intervention on enforced disappearances, sharing an overview of the increasing trend in this crime over the past five years in Pakistan, and especially Balochistan. Pointing to the fact that in 2016 an average of 73 disappearances per month has occurred, Ms Kissenkoetter said that this is “proof that it is a very serious crime, based on which it is impossible to claim that [enforced disappearances] are random acts by militias”. http://bit.ly/2cT6Oha

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.