Daily World News Digest, 24 February 2016

Cyprus to investigate Red Cross archives on missing

In-Cyprus news portal reported on 23 February that authorities aim to fully investigate information from the Red Cross archives as part of efforts to establish the fate of missing persons in Cyprus. Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues Photis Photiou said on Tuesday there is information in Red Cross archives relating in particular to the most terrible battles that took place and the collection of bodies from the battlefields, where most of the individuals still missing seem to have gone missing.” Red Cross archives are important and extensive since the organization was present during the Turkish invasion of 1974 when the battles were raging. http://bit.ly/1mWLxUO

Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women no simple task

The Star, a news portal from Canada, reported on 23 February that the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will not be a timid affair, and nor should it be. It’s already obvious from the pre-inquiry consultation process led by Carolyn Bennett, the minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, that there is plenty of interest in this inquiry, plenty of people who want to step up and be heard. Most of those attending consultations are families and activists. They suggested that the inquiry must include: causes of violence and abuse, review of investigations of murders, training for police and criminal justice personnel, and media treatment of cases involving murdered or missing Indigenous women. http://on.thestar.com/1QeD2jJ

UN: Bay of Bengal ‘three times more deadly’ than Mediterranean for migrants and refugees

UN News Center issued a news on 23 February saying that refugees and migrants crossing the seas of Southeast Asia died at a rate three times higher than those in the Mediterranean last year. Across the region, an estimated 33,600 refugees and migrants of various nationalities had taken to smugglers’ boats. The 2015 fatality rate had still been three times higher in those waters than in the Mediterranean Sea, despite the decrease in the second half of the year, after mass graves along the Thailand-Malaysia land border were found. http://bit.ly/1QxldYP

Egypt: More than 20 kidnapped by security forces in recent weeks in Sharqeya Province

Ikhwan Web, a news portal from Egypt, carried a story on 23 February saying that the number of “disappeared” citizens in the cities and towns of Sharqeya Province has rapidly risen to more than 20 citizens in the past few weeks. A source from the detainees’ defense team in Sharqeya revealed that many of them lodged formal complaints with coup government officials. Sharqeya Detainees’ Families Association renewed its pleas for civil society and human rights organizations and the media to address the crime of enforced disappearance in Sharqeya province, after more than 20 have been kidnapped and thrown in junta prisons because they are perceived as opponents of the government. http://bit.ly/20Uuujw

Ban Ki-moon in fresh bid to resolve Burundian crisis

Deutsche Welle reported on 23 February that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and opposition politicians had agreed to hold talks to end a 10-month political crisis which has tipped the country into chronic violence. A pledge by Nkurunziza to release 2,000 prisoners detained during the crisis was described by Ban as “an encouraging step”. More than 400 people have been killed and more than 240,000 have left the country. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said “killings are occurring almost daily and an alarming new trend of enforced disappearances has emerged in recent weeks.” http://bit.ly/1KJn4xN

Mind the gap: why are unaccompanied children disappearing in their thousands?

Open Democracy portal carried a story on 22 February saying that until the EU recognizes the specific needs of child migrants many will likely continue to abscond from the reception system. The ‘disappearance’ of 10,000 migrant children after arriving in the EU made recently headlines in British newspapers and across the world. The Observer reported data from Europol, the EU’s criminal intelligence agency, drawing an explicit link between the fact that thousands of young migrants had vanished and the alleged intervention of a ‘sophisticated pan-European criminal infrastructure’ that is ‘targeting minors for sex abuse and slavery’. http://bit.ly/1XHP2f3

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.