Daily World News Digest, 27 February 2017

Iraq: largest mass grave discovered

The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday that after the capture of Mosul in 2014, Da’esh killed and dumped the bodies of thousands of security personnel in the Khasfa sinkhole five miles outside the city. The site is believed to be the biggest mass grave in Iraq and the resting place of an estimated 4,000 bodies. “Daesh would drive the victims to Khasfa in convoys of minibuses, trucks and pick ups. The men had their hands bound and their eyes blindfolded. They were taken to the sinkhole and shot in the back of the head,” said one local resident.  The dead would either tumble into the hole after being shot or be tossed into it by their masked killers, he said. http://bit.ly/2lVzyuw

 Iraq: Mosul evacuees detained

Human Rights Watch reported yesterday that Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces are detaining men and boys who have fled the fighting in Mosul even after they have passed security clearances. Human Rights Watch gathered reports of over 900 detentions from various sources, including camp-based actors, local communities, and camp residents. It was unable to verify how many of the detainees are still being held by KRG officials, whether any of them were allowed to communicate with their family members, and whether the families were informed of their whereabouts in any cases. Detainees were held for up to four months without any communication with or update for their families. http://bit.ly/2lLvqw5 

Bangladesh urged to end enforced disappearances 

Al Jazeera reported on Saturday that the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has called on the Bangladesh government immediately to reveal the whereabouts of three sons of opposition leaders kidnapped six months ago. In separate incidents, Hummam Quader Chowdhury, Mir Ahmed bin Quasem and Brigadier-General Abdullahil Amaan al-Azmi went missing in the capital, Dhaka, in August 2016, allegedly abducted by Bangladesh security forces. The WGEID said on Friday that in total, more than 40 people have been disappeared, and urged the government to “halt an increasing number of enforced disappearances”. http://bit.ly/2lWiJPv

Pakistan: families of the missing appeal to authorities 

The Express Tribune reported yesterday that the families of missing persons belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) are appealing to the prime minister, chief justice and other authorities to ensure the safe recovery of their loved ones as soon as possible. Speaking at Karachi Press Club on Saturday, the families claimed that all of the missing were picked up by law enforcement agencies and were forcibly disappeared. Their whereabouts are unknown, the families added. http://bit.ly/2l2ruse 

Cyprus: missing persons’ identifications to be reviewed

The Cyprus Mail reported yesterday that the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) has decided to review the statistical correlation of genetic results with those of relatives of missing persons in cases that were identified at The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics (CING) between 2007 and 2012. The process will take place at the US BODE forensics laboratory. CMP Greek Cypriot member Nestoras Nestoros told CNA that the decision was taken in January, following a 2009 mistake in the identification of a missing person by CING, which was only discovered in 2016. http://bit.ly/2lWByC6

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.