Daily World News Digest, 25 August 2017

US can extradite Ex-El Salvador official for civil war massacre

JustSecurity.org reported 23 August that a US federal judge has ruled that Inocente Orlando Montano Morales (Montano) – who headed El Salvador’s National Police as Vice Minister for Public Security in the 1980s – can be extradited to Spain to stand trial for his role in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter on the grounds of the University of Central America (UCA). Montano has filed a notice of appeal. Five of the priests were Spanish nationals. Although the Salvadoran government did open an investigation into the massacre and convict some of the suspects, the defendants were later released upon the passage of an amnesty law. http://bit.ly/2xguKm4

Turning point in Duterte’s war on drugs?

CNN reported on Thursday on the case of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos, who was shot by plainclothes police officers last week in Metro Manila. Security footage seems to show Delos Santos being dragged across a basketball court by officers shortly before he was killed. Delos Santos is one of at least 3,400 alleged dealers and users killed in a bloody crackdown on illegal drugs in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June last year. A Senate Inquiry into Delos Santos’ death was opened on Thursday after protests against what some consider the extrajudicial killing of an innocent child. Delos Santos’ death could potentially turn the tide in Duterte’s drugs war, which rights groups have decried as nothing more than brutal, extrajudicial massacre. http://cnn.it/2w1AD88

Burundians flee due to killings and enforced disappearances

News 24, from South Africa, carries a story today about a report on the situation in Burundi issued by the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI). The report says that members of the Imbonerakure – the ruling party’s youth wing – continue to carry out killings and enforced disappearances of those deemed not supportive of the regime. According to UNHCR, 275 000 Burundians have fled to Tanzania, a figure contested by both governments, which maintain that a large number have already returned home. Rwanda which accommodates over 86 000 refugees – the second highest number in the region – now gets about 150 refugees entering per week, according to UNHCR. http://bit.ly/2gaBwpr

Deported Eritreans at risk of enforced disappearance

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the US is stepping up efforts to send asylum seekers back to Eritrea despite the fate that may away them if they are returned to their home country. Eritrea, the paper says, “has a long track record of jailing and torturing people who attempted to flee the country”. Last year, the UN reported on the regime’s use of “indefinite national service, arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances.” Many of those fleeing Eritrea are trying to avoid a lifetime of military service, which the UN and human rights groups say amounts to modern-day slavery. Eritrea produces a disproportionate number of migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe. Between 2014 and 2016, more than 95,000 Eritreans arrived in Italy by boat, according to the International Organization for Migration. For years, the United States has resettled Eritreans stranded in Ethiopian refugee camps. http://wapo.st/2wa1X2r

Europe refugee and migrant arrivals fall

On Thursday UNHCR published a report revealing a decline in the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe in the first half of 2017. The report says that many of the migrants and refugees who have reached Italy from Libya have survived dangerous desert crossings and abuses that include sexual violence, torture, and abductions for ransom. At sea, the risk of dying en route to Italy is one in 39. The report also shows a rise in the number of arrivals to Spain, with 9,500 people reaching the country since the start of January, mainly by sea, compared to the 4,936 who arrived during the first six months of 2016. http://bit.ly/2w1OGL7

EU states begin returning refugees to Greece

The Guardian carried a story today about European countries beginning the process of returning refugees to Greece, as migrants seeking reunification with their family members – mostly in Germany – step up protests in Athens. Greece’s migration minister Yannis Mouzalas said the first returns were expected imminently but he had no idea where the returnees would be placed or whether they would ever leave Greece. http://bit.ly/2w3j2gd

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.