Daily World News Digest, 24 March 2017

More than 200 migrants feared drowned in Mediterranean

The BBC reported yesterday that Proactiva Open Arms, the Spanish NGO, has recovered five bodies floating near two capsized boats, which can each hold more than 100 people. The five men pulled from the Mediterranean were young men who appeared to have drowned. A spokesman for Italy’s coast guard, which co-ordinates rescues, confirmed the five deaths, but said they could not confirm the estimates of deaths given by Proactiva. The Italian coast guard said they had co-ordinated more than 40 rescue operations in the last few days. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says more than 20,000 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year – and some 559 people are estimated to have died or gone missing en route. http://bbc.in/2mZmaTo

Chile sentences 33 Pinochet-era agents for disappearances

Telesur, the Venezuela-based Latin American news portal, reported yesterday that the Supreme Court in Chile has sentenced 33 former intelligence agents from the period of the Pinochet dictatorship for the enforced disappearances of five communist activists in 1987. The five were kidnapped, drugged and abandoned at sea. The court sentenced the defendants to between three and 15 years in prison for the abduction and disappearance of the five members of the Manuel Rodriguez Patriot Front, the militant wing of the country’s Communist Party. The Supreme Court also ruled that the families of the victims will receive compensation from the state amounting to US$575,000. http://bit.ly/2nHiFED

Burundi crisis results in enforced disappearances

The Center for Security Studies published an article yesterday on the crisis in Burundi since Pierre Nkurunziza announced two years ago that he would pursue a contested third term as President. The February 2017 report of UN Secretary General António Guterres on Burundi warned that killings, enforced disappearances, gender-based violence, and the discovery of dead bodies continues at an escalating rate. Between October 2016 and February 2017, more than 200 disappearances were reported to the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. An African Union fact-finding mission has described violations by Burundi’s security forces as “pervasive, systematic, and massive.” http://bit.ly/2obAS9S

NGOs raise concern over rights violations in Burundi

AfricaNews reported yesterday that NGOs in Burundi are calling for an immediate end to extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and torture carried out by the security forces. A 2016 report by the SOS Torture campaign found that 46 people from 12 provinces in Burundi had been arbitrarily executed. The same report cited the abduction of 74 people by the agents of security forces. http://bit.ly/2nKDteB

Execution of captured fighters filmed in Libya

Amnesty International reported yesterday that video evidence has emerged showing fighters from the Libyan National Army (LNA) carrying out execution-style killings of captured fighters from the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries (SCBR) in the Ganfouda area of Benghazi. The two separate incidents may amount to war crimes, adding to the long list of crimes under international law that have been committed with impunity by armed groups and militias in both Western and Eastern Libya. LNA forces have announced an investigation into the incidents, and a spokesperson told Amnesty International that the individuals responsible for the killings had been apprehended and would be investigated. http://bit.ly/2nOWvAQ

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.