Daily World News Digest, 27 July 2018

Syrian government confirms deaths of 161 disappeared

Responding to reports that the Syrian government has confirmed the deaths of at least 161 victims of enforced disappearance since the start of the conflict in 2011, Amnesty International has called on the government to return the remains to their families and explain the circumstances of the forced disappearance and deaths of their loved ones. https://bit.ly/2LSESbG

Fate of hundreds of Gulf War missing still unknown

Despite Iraq’s effort to find the fate of 609 Kuwaiti citizens and 1,022 Iraqis who disappeared during the first Gulf War in 1991, the fate of many is still unknown, Aljazeera reports. The Iraqi Government has offered financial rewards to anyone who can help locate human remains, but only 236 Kuwaitis reported missing have been recovered from mass graves (original article in Arabic). https://bit.ly/2v6Kx6U

Many Syrian prisoners are registered as deceased

In recent weeks, Syrian officials have started updating records of civilian prisoners, marking many as deceased without handing over bodies to the families, according to Aljazeera. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, till now 400 families have been informed that their relatives have died in the prison without the families being able to recover the remains, not were they informed of the cause of death (original article in Arabic). https://bit.ly/2NJzE2o

US: improved DNA technique identifies 9/11 victim

The remains of a man killed during the 11 September attack in New York have been identified 17 years later. The New York medical examiners’ office on Wednesday identified the victim as Scott Michael Johnson, 26, who worked at an investment banking company at the World Trade Center. Johnson is the 1,642th person to be officially identified from the attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead. He was identified after his DNA was re-tested using a new and improved technique, Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson said. https://bit.ly/2uSoEc7

Remains of US war dead in North Korea returned home

Remains believed to be those of 55 American servicemen from the Korean War were flown out of North Korea on Friday, the New York Times reports. Despite the armistice signed 65 years ago, the remains of thousands of American troops killed in North Korea have not been returned because the war was never formally concluded with a peace treaty, and North Korea and the US do not have diplomatic ties. The returned remains were the first handed over since a joint effort between 1996-2005 where the suspected remains of 220 American soldiers were collected. https://nyti.ms/2mNLP2I

China: enforced disappearances in Xinjiang

CNN has published a report on “crimes against humanity” perpetrated by the Chinese authorities in the northwest Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, characterized, it says, by detentions and disappearances. Beijing denies arbitrarily arresting or detaining citizens based on ethnicity or religion, saying its actions in Xinjiang are related to counter terrorism and anti-extremism. https://cnn.it/2Af0aPq

Items in the 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.