Daily World News Digest, 25 February 2016

Amnesty Report: Countries of the Balkans failed to protect victims of enforced disappearances

Balkan Insight carried a story on 24 February saying that the latest global report published by Amnesty International on Wednesday said that all the Balkan countries continued to struggle with human rights protection in 2015. Serbia was criticized for failing to recognize the right to compensation for victims of enforced disappearances. Bosnia and Herzegovina was criticized for lack of effective reparation system for war victims and their families. Croatia meanwhile failed to ratify the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances and to adopt a law on missing persons. http://bit.ly/21qvMVG

CMP delegation visits site at Afania where 100 missing persons are reportedly buried

Famagusta Gazette, a daily from Cyprus, reported on 24 February that a delegation of the Committee on Missing Persons visited a site at Afania village in the Turkish occupied areas where in the 1990s, the remains of 100 missing Greek Cypriots are thought to have been moved. Greek Cypriot representative to the CMP, Nestoras Nestoros, told that the fenced area is located opposite a Turkish military camp, adding that the site is known to the CMP. He also said that the delegation visited the Turkish Cypriot representative at the CMP where she was informed about the actions that will be undertaken. http://bit.ly/1KMNmiI

Presidential Commission releases new findings on final stages of the war in Sri Lanka

News First, a broadcasting service in Sri Lanka, reports that the Presidential Commission on the Missing has cited the ICJ ruling in the case of Serbia and Croatia to refute allegations of genocide against the Sri Lanka army, and has described the claim that 40,000 civilians were killed by the army in the final stages of the conflict in 2009 as “a myth. http://bit.ly/1KMPEOM

Human Rights Watch: Abductions and killings spread fear in Burundi

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today saying that the Burundian authorities are targeting perceived opponents with increased brutality. Government forces are killing, abducting, torturing, and arbitrarily arresting scores of people at an alarming rate. Human Rights Watch researchers in Burundi have documented an alarming new pattern of abductions and possible disappearances, particularly since December. Many families have not been able to get news of their relatives since security forces led them away. In other incidents, victims’ bodies were dumped elsewhere, buried in mass graves, or taken to unknown destinations. http://bit.ly/1p5BvCx

Two Myanmar men detained over mass graves in Wang Kelian

The Sun Daily from Myanmar reported today that the police have detained two Myanmar men to facilitate investigations into the discovery of mass graves believed to contain remains of human trafficking victims at Wang Kelian, Perlis last year. Head of the special team probing the case, Datuk Goh Kok Liang said the suspects were found to be linked to the case while being detained at Immigration Detention Depot in Tanah Merah Kelantan. In May 2015, the police stumbled on graves with 106 skeletal remains, believed to be those of Rohingyas, and 28 human trafficking camps. http://bit.ly/1SWqXBW

Pro-Russian paramilitaries involved in repression against Crimean Tatars

Ukraine Today news portal reported on 24 February that pro-Russian paramilitaries from the so-called “Crimean self-defense force” were involved in repression against Crimean Tatars, according to an Amnesty International report. There was no effective investigation into six cases of suspected enforced disappearances of Crimean Tatar activists in 2014 and one confirmed case of abduction, torture and killing. This was despite a plethora of evidence, including video footage, strongly suggesting that pro-Russian paramilitaries were responsible for at least some of these crimes, the report said. http://bit.ly/20WvkME

Mexico president visits site of 43 students’ disappearance 17 months after

The Guardian reported on 24 February that nearly 17 months after 43 Mexican students disappeared following their abduction by local police, president Enrique Peña Nieto has made his first visit to the city where the attack took place. But he avoided a meeting with the missing students’ families, instead overseeing a military ceremony on Wednesday to celebrate the national flag. On Sunday, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights investigators complained that their work had been obstructed by government and military officials who had limited their access to documents concerning the case and prevented them from questioning troops at an army base in Iguala. http://bit.ly/1TzO3NG

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.