Daily World News Digest, 24 July 2017

Philippines Senator calls for more data on extrajudicial killings

On Monday, Rappler, a news portal from the Philippines, reported that Senator Leila de Lima has asked Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to present figures on cases of extrajudicial killing (EJK) related to the government’s war on drugs being handled by the Department of Justice (DOJ). “The data of 219 EJKs apparently refers to those cases covered by the mandate of the AO35 Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons,” De Lima said on Monday. De Lima accused Aguirre of instructing his prosecutors not to file drug war-related EJK cases against any law enforcement officer. De Lima has been in government detention since February, charged with a drug-related offence. The European Union and a number of international human rights organizations have questioned the allegations against her and called for her release. http://bit.ly/2uPSSNB

San Antonio: Truck found in Texas with dozens inside

The BBC reports today that police in Texas have arrested a truck driver whose vehicle was found in a Walmart car park with dozens of people in the back of it. Nine men had died inside, and 28 others, including children, were taken to hospital. They were inside the trailer in San Antonio without access to air conditioning or water while outside temperatures hit 38C. Police say they believe the incident is linked to people smuggling. http://bbc.in/2tB2o7Z

Sirisena signs law to address enforced disappearances

The Hindu.com on Saturday covered the story of the signing of the law to address enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena signed the Office on Missing Persons Act on Thursday. This was broadly welcomed. However, human rights activist Ruki Fernando cautioned that “We should be careful about raising hopes of distraught families yet again, by rushing to uncritically welcome the latest announcement.” http://bit.ly/2vQM1B8

Call for enforced disappearance legislation in Bangladesh

The DailyStar.net on Friday published an article on the lack of legislation in Bangladesh that specifically addresses the crime of enforced disappearances. According to reports published by Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and Swedish Media, it says, there has been a rise in incidences of enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh in the last two years. It notes that when a victim simply disappears, it is difficult “to determine the admissibility of evidence, burden of proof, and requisite standard of proof, which are all important components of disappearance cases”. http://bit.ly/2gVWlVI

Myanmar: UN expert lists human rights concerns

The Onlinecitizen.com reports today that a UN Special Rapporteur has issued a strongly worded statement accusing the Government of Myanmar of policies reminiscent of the previous military government, and of presiding over a worsening security and human rights situation. Yanghee Lee, ending a 12-day visit to the country, listed a catalogue of concerns including reports of killings, torture, the use of human shields by security forces, deaths in custody and an ongoing humanitarian crisis for the Rohingya people and other minorities forced from their homes. http://bit.ly/2vAQtVa

Cyprus parliament seeks new evidence on missing persons

Cyprus Mail Online reported on Sunday that House President Demetris Syllouris has said that the ‘’Cyprus File’’, the archives of the Greek parliament’s inquiry into the 1974 coup, will be studied for facts about missing persons. Speaking on Sunday, Syllouris said that after the inquiry archives were handed over to the Cypriot parliament almost two weeks ago, the priority is to study them thoroughly and to digitize them. He also said that they would examine whether there is evidence concerning missing persons. http://bit.ly/2vQIKSm

Child from refugee camp near Athens drowns

The National Herald, a US publication that focuses on Greece and Cyprus, reported on Saturday that a preliminary examination of a seven-year-old Syrian child who was found dead in the sea in Skaramangas, near Athens, indicates that death was caused by drowning. The body was found near a pier where refugees are being temporarily housed. The refugee child’s parents have been placed under arrest. Neither was able to explain how the child ended up in the sea and both are reported to be in a distressed psychological state. http://bit.ly/2uORdZl

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.