Daily World News Digest, 27 January 2016

Bones of 86 Turkish Cypriots found

Cyprus Mail issued a news on 26 January saying that experts have found the remains of 86 Turkish Cypriot civilians buried in a mass grave at the village of Santalaris in Turkish occupied Famagusta. The victims were from the villages of Santalaris, Maratha, and Aloda, inhabited entirely by Turkish Cypriots, which were located next to each other in the Famagusta district. According to the Committee on missing persons, teams of experts were digging in seven locations in the North and one in the Republic. http://bit.ly/1RMUygx

Missing and disappeared persons most likely dead says Sri Lanka prime minister

The Tamil Guardian reported on 26 January that those that surrendered at the end of the war and are still missing in Sri Lanka are ‘most probably dead’ said Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickrememsinghe. When asked about the fate of missing persons and those that surrendered to Sir Lanka’s army to be put in detention, Mr WIckremesinghe said, “There are no detention centers in the north or the south. There are 292 in detention are known to the government no others.” He added that international involvement in investigations has not been ruled out. http://bit.ly/1SiHKxc

Turkey to return remains of refugees to Iraqi Kurdistan

Today’s Zaman, a daily from Turkey, reported on 26 January that Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç has said the bodies of 13 migrants who drowned when their boat capsized last week in the Aegean Sea will be transferred to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) upon the Kurdish administration’s request. The boat, carrying 49 migrants, capsized off the coast of Foça on 21 January, and fishermen called the Turkish Coast Guard to come to the rescue. Twenty-five refugees were saved, while 13 migrants, five of whom were children, died and 11 went missing. http://bit.ly/1Tn99iy

Ayotzinapa families march for justice

Telesur news portal reported on 26 January that relatives of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students marched in Mexico City on Tuesday to mark 16 months since the forcible disappearance of their loved ones in Iguala, Guerrero in September 2014 – and to continue demanding justice from Mexican authorities. Protesters called for an independent and impartial exercise of justice in the case and carried out a symbolic funeral with an empty coffin in front of the Attorney General’s office. Parents said they have heard that local police officers are being offered protections to avoid prosecution in connection with the Ayotzinapa case, but vowed that they will not give up their calls for justice. http://bit.ly/1lR3Ud9

Hundreds vanishing in Egypt as crackdown widens, activists say

New York Times carried a story on 26 January saying that after the security forces raided the home of Islam Khalil, a 26-year-old salesman, last summer, he seemed to vanish without a trace. Mr. Khalil had not been formally arrested, so his family could not determine where he was being held. Mr. Khalil finally emerged, four months later, at a police station in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt. Mr. Khalil is one of hundreds of Egyptians who have recently been subjected to “enforced disappearance,” a harsh tactic that has become increasingly prevalent in Egypt. People like Mr. Khalil have disappeared into a network of secretive detention centers, run by the security forces. The detainees are usually released within months or, like Mr. Khalil, charged with a crime — usually membership in the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. http://nyti.ms/1lQFvVc

Cuauhtémoc in Mexico, where over 309 are missing

Mexico News Daily carried a story on 26 January saying that the municipality of Cuauhtémoc, in the state of Chihuahua, has recorded the highest rate of disappearances in Mexico. Last week, Amnesty International said the total number of people in Cuauhtémoc who had disappeared totaled 351, while official records showed 309. The reports of disappearances in the community have been increasing steadily since 2008 when 26 cases were registered. A security camera recorded the moment the father of two was dragged to the floor, handcuffed and thrown into a truck. Many disappearances can also be explained by the cartel wars, human trafficking and forced recruitment for activities such as cultivating and transporting drugs. http://bit.ly/1SakGCF

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.