Daily World News Digest, 24 May 2018

Refugees who go missing trying to reach Europe will not stay unnamed

Malta, Italy, Cyprus and Greece have decided to launch an initiative to identify thousands of refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has announced that representatives of these four countries will meet in Rome next month to discuss the details of the initiative. “Cooperation between countries can help to estimate the number of missing — those who have died and those who have survived,” said ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger. (Article in Polish) https://bit.ly/2ILd1ZE

Scores of migrants rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar

Spanish and Moroccan maritime services have rescued more than 250 migrants trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar this week. Better weather has seen scores of migrant men, women and children risk their lives trying to cross the strait in small boats. https://bit.ly/2IGvyGi

Bosnia is still searching for 7,000 missing persons

Some 7,000 missing persons are still being searched for in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the search and identification process plays an important part in prosecuting cases of war crimes. The State Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement on Wednesday urging all institutions tasked with the search and identification of missing persons to make renewed efforts. It said the key problem standing in the way of the process is a lack of information on the location of mass graves and individual graves. https://bit.ly/2IJoatX

BIH: the Prosecution ordered the excavation of graves

The exhumation of graves at a cemetery in Brcko, northern Bosnia, began today. The State Prosecutor’s Office said seven locations will be checked at the cemetery in the next two days. (Article in BCS) https://bit.ly/2x7X3rb

Guatemala: ex-officers convicted of enforced disappearance

Four retired senior military officers in Guatemala have been convicted of crimes against humanity and other charges related to the 1981 rape and torture of a young woman and the disappearance of her teenage brother. The defendants denied the charges, insisted on their innocence and argued that any crimes committed must be seen in the context of a nation at war. https://yhoo.it/2J4smaV

Egypt: prominent blogger detained by authorities

Prominent Egyptian activist and blogger, Wael Abbas has been arrested by Egyptian authorities after an early morning raid at his home. Among other things, he is accused of disseminating false news and joining an outlawed group. Enforced disappearances have been reported in Egypt for several years and this arrest is seen as the latest in a new wave of arrests since elections in March. https://bit.ly/2KQ7cux

Philippines: concerns linger over martial law in Mindanao

Citing allegations of human rights violations, there has been opposition from some quarters to the Philippine government’s continued implementation of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao. President Rodrigo Duterte originally imposed military rule after government forces on 23 May last year clashed with Islamist militants. https://bit.ly/2s2iuEK

 Items in the 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.