Daily World News Digest, 27 September 2017

 Anniversary of Iguala disappearances in Mexico

Relatives and activists organized protests on Tuesday to mark the third anniversary of the disappearance of 43 trainee teachers in the state of Guerrero in southwest Mexico. The students’ parents have not stopped looking for their missing sons and seeking definitive answers to what happened. On the night of 26 September 2014, police with automatic weapons surrounded three buses that had been commandeered for a protest by students from the Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College. According to testimonies from survivors, the police started shooting at the unarmed students. Six people were shot dead – the youngest was 15 years old – and 43 were reported missing. An international team of forensic scientists contradicted the official report on the crime. http://nbcnews.to/2k0waPe

 Colombia names judges on peace tribunal

The Selection Committee for Colombia’s new transitional justice system has announced the names of 51 magistrates who will investigate and try some of the country’s most serious war crimes cases. A majority of the judges are women; there are a small number from indigenous and Afrodescendant populations. http://bit.ly/2fph3d3

 Bashar Al-Assad’s uncle facing trial in Switzerland

The legal NGO, TRIAL International, has warned that criminal proceedings against the Swiss resident Rifaat Al-Assad, the uncle of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, face stalemate, despite a significant volume of available evidence. Rifaat is accused of being in command of the brigade that carried out the massacres of several thousand people at Palmyra and in Hama in 1982; up to 40,000 are thought to have been killed by Syrian regime forces. TRIAL argues that “sluggishness” in the Office of Switzerland’s  Attorney General “sends a dangerous message to today’s belligerents in Syria while it must be absolutely clear to them that they are not beyond the reach of justice.” http://bit.ly/2wWpmU0

 UAE accused of war crimes in Libya

Human rights groups in Libya have accused the United Arab Emirates of committing war crimes in the country, including killing hundreds of civilians through direct air strikes and through its support for renegade general Khalifa Haftar. Giumma El-Omami, president of Human Rights Solidarity, said that a UN commission set up by the Security Council has found evidence of fatalities that resulted from UAE and Egyptian air strikes on Libya. http://bit.ly/2xFcu8t

 “Lost and found booth” reunites Rohingya families in Bangladesh

In Kutupalong refugee camps, which are home to nearly 200,000 Rohingya, dozens of children are going missing. Moved by the plight of parents and families who have lost their children or other family members, Nazir Ahmed, himself a Rohingya, has launched a public information service and has made more than 300 missing children announcements, helping nearly 180 children reunite with their families. http://bit.ly/2fyFIzv

 Serb paramilitary commander “Captain Dragan” sentenced

Dragan Vasiljkovic, the wartime Serb paramilitary leader, has been convicted of war crimes at Split County Court and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Sixty-two-year-old Vasiljkovic was found guilty of responsibility for the beating and abuse of imprisoned Croatian soldiers and policemen in June and July 1991 at the fortress in Knin. http://bit.ly/2yr54De

 War crimes documentation center opens in Kosovo

The Humanitarian Law Center has opened a war crimes documentation center in Pristina, providing information from five Kosovo-related trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The center is hosting two temporary exhibitions and is presenting nine short films based on data from the five trials. When the new Kosovo Specialist Chambers begin to hold hearings in The Hague, these will also be documented at the center. http://bit.ly/2y7IEuz

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.