Daily World News Digest, 24 October 2016

Pakistan: Interior Ministry denies it is holding missing software engineer

The Express Tribune reported on 22 October that while denying any involvement in the abduction of an Islamabad resident, the Ministry of Interior suggested that the Islamabad High Court direct the petitioner to approach the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to trace the missing person. In its reply submitted to the court, the ministry said that 300 cases of missing persons have already been transferred by the court to the commission in 2016, and that the petitioner can seek an alternate remedy from the commission formed to account for missing persons. Mehmood, a software engineer who ran a small IT company in the capital along with his wife, was allegedly abducted from his home on the evening of 14 March. Counsel for Mrs Mehmood said he was picked up “amidst circumstances which strongly suggest that this is a case of enforced disappearance.” http://bit.ly/2dAVPdP

Mass executions in Iraq

The International Business Times reported on 22 October that US Defense Secretary Ash Carter had arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to assess the offensive to recapture Mosul amid reports of mass executions by militants in the region. Reports have also emerged that Iraqi army units entered the center of Qaraqosh, about 20km southeast of Mosul. An Iraqi intelligence source told CNN that Da’esh had executed 284 men and boys in the Mosul area on Thursday and Friday, whom they were using as human shields to flee from cities under attack by Iraqi and coalition forces. The source added that all the corpses were buried in a mass grave near the site of execution. Da’esh used a bulldozer to dump the bodies at Mosul’s defunct College of Agriculture in the north of the city, the intelligence source told the news channel, noting that all of the victims were shot. CNN said it could not independently verify the claims. http://bit.ly/2emOxvU

Typhoon leaves 14 dead, 7 missing

The Manila Times reported on 21 October that the Philippine National Police-National Operation Center (PNP-NOC) on Friday reported at least 29 casualties from super Typhoon Lawin (international code name: Haima) that barreled through several provinces in Northern Luzon on Thursday. The PNP-NOC reports said that it has listed at least 14 persons killed by the typhoon said to be the strongest in the past three years, with seven missing and eight persons injured. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Friday confirmed five additional deaths after the onslaught of Lawin. http://bit.ly/2f7KF0i

Presidential Commissioner Places Heavy Responsibility on Turkey for Cyprus’ Missing Persons

The Greek Reporter carried a statement by Presidential Commissioner Fotis Photiou on 22 October on what he said was Turkey’s responsibility for the humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus. He was speaking at the burial of the remains of Greek Cypriot Antonis Antoniou, who was executed by Turkish soldiers during the invasion of Cyprus in 1974. His remains were found in a mass grave in 2009 and were identified recently using DNA. Photiou said that Turkey must finally undertake its responsibilities regarding the missing persons issue and allow access to the archives of the Turkish military. http://bit.ly/2ewVVUO

Mystery Macedonian Grave Sparks Intrigue in Bulgaria

Balkan Insight reported on 19 October that after the Macedonian authorities found a mass grave last week near the village of Zajas, believed to date from the Second Balkan War in 1913, various reports have appeared in Bulgarian media claiming that the remains discovered belong to ethnic Bulgarians who rioted against Serbs at the time. Experts, however, have dismissed this, although they have confirmed that many ethnic Bulgarians were victims of the Serbian army during the two Balkan wars in 1912-13. “Macedonia has been a battlefield in two wars and two uprisings. http://bit.ly/2ertfY8

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.