Daily World News Digest, 24 June 2016

Interpol seeks public help in tracking migrant smugglers

AP reported on 23 June that Interpol is asking the public to help find 10 suspected migrant smugglers, an unusual call issued on Thursday that reflects just how tough it is to catch those who prey on people fleeing war or poverty. The diverse nationalities of the 10 — who include people from Romania, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan — highlights the globe-spanning nature of the criminal networks involved in people smuggling, which has soared with the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants heading to Europe, many fleeing Syria’s war. The public call reflects the difficulty in tracking down people smugglers who can range from invisible bosses to boat drivers. So far, 26 people have been arrested in the Interpol-led Operation Infra Hydra, which is seeking the arrest of 180 people wanted by 31 countries. http://apne.ws/28RkyDR

5,000 migrants rescued in wave of Mediterranean crossings

Yahoo News reported on 23 June that 5,000 migrants were rescued from rubber dinghies in the Mediterranean on Thursday, according to the Italian coastguard. A coastguard spokesman said it appeared that many people had left the Libyan coast to attempt the perilous voyage across the sea to Europe during a spell of good weather. Most of the migrants were in dinghies, while three wooden boats were being used by Libyan people traffickers. More than 10,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean to Europe in overcrowded boats since 2014, according to UN figures published earlier this month. This year alone more than 50,000 migrants and asylum seekers from Africa have managed to complete the journey to Italy, a country that, like Greece, acts mainly as a gateway to northern Europe for most of the newcomers. http://yhoo.it/28Snd1U

Decade after Nepal peace pact, war crimes finally probed

The Daily Mail reports today on the experience of those who lost loved ones in Nepal’s ten-year conflict. It describes the plight of Suntali Rasaili, who lost her teenage daughter, allegedly executed by Nepali soldiers at the height of the Maoist insurgency. But a decade after Maoist rebels signed a peace pact, families of victims are also hoping for justice, as Nepal prepares this month to start investigations into crimes committed during the conflict. Rasaili is among thousands filing complaints with two commissions, one of which is headed by a high-ranking judge and the other by a senior parliamentary official. http://dailym.ai/28UVUrg

Sri Lanka to consult on judicial mechanism

The New Indian Express reported on 23 June that Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that the nature and structure of the Judicial Mechanism meant to try cases of war crimes will be decided only after consultations with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the organizations representing the victims. Samaraweera noted that Lanka has ratified the Convention on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and the enabling legislation will be presented to the cabinet the moment he returns to Lanka in July. http://bit.ly/28PJixB

Philippines: Call for police to be investigated over disappearance

Bulatlat.com a daily from the Philippines, reported on 23 June that the brother of a missing activist, James Balao, has expressed disappointment over a reported Supreme Court decision giving the Philippine National Police (PNP) six months to reinvestigate the eight-year-old case, following the premise that the victim was disappeared by his own colleagues. James Balao, a founding member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), was in Tomay in Benguet Provionce on the island of Luzon on 17 September 2008, when he was abducted. Witnesses said he was seized by five men who handcuffed him and forced him into a waiting car. The abductors shouted that he was a “drug pusher” and said they were taking him to police headquarters. http://bit.ly/28V22NU

It’s Bad in Eritrea, but Not That Bad

The New York Times published a commentary on 23 June regarding the report released by a special U.N. commission on 8 June accusing the leadership of Eritrea of crimes against humanity. It cites cases of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, rape and extrajudicial killing. It claims that up to 400,000 Eritreans have been enslaved in a vast conscription program, forced to work in the army or the bureaucracy for next to nothing, often for a decade or more. The Eritrean government deserves to be called out for these practices. But the criticism, to be credible and effective, must be scrupulously fair, and the commission’s report is not, it said. It extrapolates from anecdotal examples — like instances of rape by military forces — to allege systemic abuses and blame them on state policy. http://nyti.ms/28Tgbhh

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.