Daily World News Digest, 26 February 2015

Human rights decline in Myanmar

The Asia Times reports today that Amnesty International’s 2014 Annual Report noted a decline in human rights standards in Myanmar despite ongoing reforms. In addition to continuing violence against the ethnic Muslim Rohingya population, Amnesty noted that President Thein Sein has failed to keep his promise to release the country’s remaining prisoners of conscience. The same report cited Amnesty’s assessment that in Vietnam, at least 60 prisoners of conscience remained jailed in harsh conditions following “unfair trials,”, while new trials and arrests took place. http://bit.ly/1DVWmeX

UK’s ‘evasion and denial’ criticized in Amnesty Report

The Daily Mail reported on 25 February that Amnesty International’s 2014 Annual Report criticizes the UK Government for its ‘evasion, denial and delays’ over establishing the truth about Britain’s complicity in torture. There had been ‘no significant progress in holding those responsible to account’, Amnesty said. Those detained under a CIA program made public by the US Senate Intelligence Committee in December included more than a dozen British residents. Many of the detainees have claimed they were ill-treated with the knowledge of British agents. http://dailym.ai/1LL686f

Report notes abuses in Sri Lanka

The Colombo Gazette reported on 25 February that Amnesty International has called on the Sri Lankan government to address human rights violations that took place in 2014. In its Annual Report Amnesty provided a comprehensive overview of human rights in 160 countries during 2014, including 29 countries in the Asia Pacific region, where there has been a harsh crackdown on freedom of expression. Amnesty International stated that the UN-led investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the conflict raised hopes for victims waiting for truth and justice which will require the full cooperation of the new Sri Lankan government. http://bit.ly/1ESV7vA

European Parliament: Compromise amendments adopted

The B92 news portal in Belgrade carried a Tanjug News Agency report on 24 February that the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs has adopted amendments to a draft resolution on Serbia put forward by EP Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister. At the suggestion of MEP Tanja Fajon, Serbia is called to provide access to the archives of the Yugoslav People’s Army and the Serbian State Security Services in order to help find out the truth about the tragic events in the 1990s. http://bit.ly/1DZ2hBg

Over 6,000 Indians are in jail in 71 countries

dna, a newspaper published in Mumbai, reported on 25 February that around 6,443 Indians are detained in jails in 71 countries; in addition there are 74 missing defense personnel, including 54 prisoners of war, who are believed to have been held in Pakistani jails since 1971. While the maximum number of 1,534 Indians are detained in Saudi Arabia followed by 833 in UAE, as many as 352 are in Pakistan and 73 in Sri Lanka. Sushma Swaraj, the minister responsible, told the Indian parliament that 6,443 Indian nationals are detained in jails in 71 countries. http://bit.ly/1FYn8p7

Thailand’s fishing industry depends on human trafficking

The Associated Press reported on 24 February that a British non-profit organization, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), has presented evidence that Thailand’s vast seafood industry is almost wholly dependent on cheap migrant labor. Brokers and agents recruit laborers from impoverished neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia, often through trickery and kidnapping, the EJF said in a report published on Wednesday. Men – and sometimes children as young as 13 – are sold onto boats where they typically work 18- to 20-hour days with little food and often only boiled sea water to drink, enduring beatings and sometimes even death at the hands of their captains. http://bit.ly/1ByTO7y

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.