Daily World News Digest, 25 June 2015

Hungary’s border fence with Serbia “not bilateral issue”

b92 reported on 24 June that Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says the Hungarian government will build a temporary fence on the border with Serbia “as soon as possible”, to stop the flow of illegal migrants from third countries. Szijjarto told a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the fence, to which Serbia is opposed, “is not a bilateral issue” and that “relations with Serbia have never been as good as today.” He pointed out that several laws need to be amended before the fence could start being built, but said nothing about when construction might begin, Tanjug reported. The minister added that “61,000 illegal migrants entered Hungary in 2015, almost all by crossing the border with Serbia.” The majority of migrants who seek refugee status in Hungary leave the country very soon to go further west into Europe. Szijarto said he was informed that Austria and ten other EU member-states intended to send illegal immigrants back to Hungary. “We do not agree with that,” Szijarto said, adding that “they should be sent back to Greece, where they first entered the territory of the European Union.” http://bit.ly/1GINb21

Almost 1,200 people are missing in Donbas – Kiev

Interxaf Ukraine reported on 24 June that almost 1,200 Ukrainians are listed as missing in the military conflict zone in Donbas, according to Iryna Heraschenko, a representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group and a member of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. “We have almost 1,200 Ukrainians on this horrible “missing persons’ list”, Heraschenko said on Facebook on Tuesday. http://bit.ly/1Nc7GWx

Call for international investigation into mass graves in Kashmir

Kashmir Media Service carried a story on 24 June quoting Kashmiri activist Shamim Shawl as saying that unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, false encounters and torture have become common practice in occupied Kashmir. Speaking at the 29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, she maintained that between 8,000 to 10,000 people had been subjected to custodial disappearance by Indian troops and police personnel and that their whereabouts are unknown even after the passage of more than 20 years. She called on the Government of India to stop the enforced disappearances and to ensure that all past and current cases of enforced disappearances are promptly, thoroughly, independently and impartially investigated. She pointed out that more than 6,000 unmarked mass graves have been discovered and called for these to be investigated “in line with international practices and under the supervision of international experts”. http://bit.ly/1SLpfAH

Colombia: senior military linked to extrajudicial executions

Human Rights Watch released a report on 24 June indicating that extensive previously unpublished evidence implicates many Colombian army generals and colonels in widespread and systematic extrajudicial killings of civilians between 2002 and 2008. The 95-page report, “On Their Watch: Evidence of Senior Army Officers’ Responsibility for False Positive Killings in Colombia,” presents evidence strongly suggesting that numerous generals and colonels knew or should have known about “false positive” killings, and may have ordered or otherwise actively furthered these killing. Prosecutors are investigating at least 3,000 of these cases, in which army troops under pressure to boost body counts in their war against armed guerrilla groups killed civilians and reported them as combat fatalities. http://bit.ly/1IeFxPa

Nigeria violence: ‘At least 40 dead’ in Boko Haram attack

The BBC carried a story on 24 June saying that Boko Haram militants have killed at least 40 people in north-eastern Nigeria, according to witnesses. The attacks on Monday and Tuesday took place in the villages of Debiro Hawul and Debiro Bi in Borno state. Residents say the militants drove into the towns and began shooting, looting and burning houses. In a separate attack, a young female suicide bomber reportedly killed at least 10 people in the neighboring state of Yobe. A witness said the girl, who detonated explosives in the town of Gujba on Tuesday, was about 12 years old. http://bbc.in/1FAUrcu

EU: address China’s “downward spiral” on rights

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 24 June urging European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker to underscore the EU’s Strategic Framework on Human Rights by placing those issues at the center of the EU-China summit. The summit will be held in Brussels on 29 June. “If the EU is remotely serious about its own freely-undertaken pledges to raise human rights in all external actions, and at the highest levels of government, we should hear a great deal next week about torture, arbitrary detention, and China’s draconian new laws,” said Lotte Leicht, EU Director. “What’s more, we should hear Presidents Tusk and Junker insist on the release of Chinese activists who are paying a high price for their peaceful advocacy – Liu Xiaobo, Gao Yu, Ilham Tohti, along with many others.” http://bit.ly/1QQN8cl


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.