Daily World News Digest, 25 March 2016

Karadzic verdict: ‘An important day for justice’ but ruling leaves life unchanged for thousands of survivors

Amnesty International UK issued a statement on 24 March saying that the guilty verdict handed down by the ICTY against former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadžić for genocide and other crimes under international law marks a major step towards justice for victims of the armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia, pointed out the importance of the verdict and said: “We should not forget, however, that more than 20 years after the Bosnian War, thousands of cases of enforced disappearances are unresolved, with a disturbing lack of political will still blocking access to justice, truth and reparation for victims.” http://bit.ly/1oat2g7

Srebrenica survivors disappointed, say Karadzic’s verdict came late

Yahoo News reported today that survivors of the Srebrenica massacre said the 40-year jail term handed down on Thursday to Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic for war crimes and genocide was not tough enough and came too late. “I am so disappointed,” said Bida Smajlovic, 64, who watched a live broadcast of the verdict with her two sisters-in-law in Potocari who lost their husbands when Bosnian Serb forces took over the U.N.-protected area of Srebrenica on 11 July, 1995. Their bodies were found in two separate mass graves in the eastern Bosnia, where bones of the Srebrenica victims are still being dug out 20 years later. “ http://yhoo.it/1VMpEWA

Missing persons commission begins fresh sittings in Mullaitivu

Colombo Gazette reported today that the Presidential commission to investigate into complaints regarding missing persons began fresh public sittings in the Mullaitivu District today. Secretary to the Commission Hewa Wasalage Gunadasa said that the commission will hold sittings in Mullaitivu for three days. Gunadasa said that the commission has invited 1,600 people to record oral statements over a 6 day period in Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya regarding family members reported missing during the war. http://bit.ly/1RqfveQ

 ‘Missing’ Hong Kong publisher Lee Bo returns from China after 3 months

International Business Times carried a story today saying that a Hong Kong book seller, Lee Bo, has reappeared in Hong Kong after three months. The Hong Kong government said in a statement that Lee had been “handed over” to immigration officials at the border Thursday afternoon. It also said that he had not provided “thorough information” about how he had left Hong Kong for China without passing through immigration — something that has previously led to speculation that he was effectively kidnapped by China’s security apparatus. http://bit.ly/1RAFKMJ

Five international institutions critical of human rights conditions in Egypt in March

Daily News Egypt reported on 24 March that within two weeks in March, five international institutions have expressed ‘serious concerns’ regarding Egypt’s government’s failure to respect human rights, and increased crackdown on freedoms. On Wednesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement in which he “reiterated his support for the important work of Egyptian human rights organizations in promoting and implementing universal principles and standards of human rights.” All international reports follow dozens of detailed reports issued by local NGOs demanding the government to stop persecuting political activists, journalists and civil society, in addition to decrying violations of human rights such as practices of torture, disappearances, and unlawful detentions. http://bit.ly/1SapHWp

Burundi: Families officially request UN and ICC investigate crimes against humanity

International Business Times UK carried a story on 24 March saying that for the first time since Burundi plunged into a deadly political crisis in April 2015, sixty Burundian families have officially mandated a group of lawyers to bring cases in front of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding alleged crimes against humanity. The bloody crisis has killed up to 900 people. After a failed coup, the government intensified its crackdown and most of those arrested or disappeared today are young men and women accused of participating in or supporting opposition groups. The lawyers have requested that the families collaborate with the authorities. http://bit.ly/1UPX0Tt

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.