Daily World News Digest, 28 August 2015

Migrant crisis: Grim find in Austria

The BBC reported on 28 August that bodies of more than 70 migrants have been found in a lorry abandoned in a motorway lay-by near the Austrian border with Hungary, according to the authorities. Austrian police say they think the people inside were already dead when the truck crossed into Austria. The lorry has been towed away for forensic examination. The grim find comes as a summit focusing on migration takes place in the Austrian capital, Vienna. Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann said the tragedy showed once again “how necessary it is to save lives by combating criminals and people traffickers”. The vehicle – a refrigerated lorry with Hungarian license plates was carrying bodies in a decomposing state. http://bbc.in/1EmjEh4

Day of the Disappeared: Enforced disappearances unabated around the world

Amnesty International issued a statement on 27 August saying that the use of enforced disappearance by governments to silence their critics and instill fear in targeted groups continues unabated as the world marks the International Day of the Disappeared. The organization, currently actively campaigning on the cases of more than 500 individuals who have been subjected to enforced disappearance, says that governments in every region of the world, from Syria to Mexico and from Sri Lanka to Gambia may be holding hundreds or even thousands in secret detention. In many countries, the authorities continue to harass and intimidate those who are looking for their relatives. According to Amnesty, 85,000 people have been forcibly disappeared in Syria between 2011 and 2015; 25,000 in Mexico since 2007 and tens of thousands in Sri Lanka. Amnesty also highlights intimidation and prosecution of journalists in Africa as well as 8,000 missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina 20 years after the war. http://bit.ly/1hiwsu8

Mexican police arrest activists seeking truth about disappeared students

The TeleSUR news portal from Venezuela reported on 27 August that relatives of the 43 forcibly disappeared Mexican Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College students, along with supporters, held a peaceful rally Wednesday in the Mexican capital. They had traveled from other states to continue to demand justice for their missing children, 11 months on from their initial disappearance. However, activists say police violently repressed demonstrators in Mexico City’s central square after the event concluded. Relatives called for the mandate for the group of foreign experts looking into the case of the 43 students to be extended. The experts International Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) is due to present its report at the beginning of September after six months of inquiry. The GIEI has asked for its initial mandate to be extended. An extension requires the support of the Mexican state, which monitors GIEI’s work. http://bit.ly/1Enobjx

Search for the missing continues after Indian boat tragedy

India Today reported on 27 August that the death toll in a boat tragedy in Fort Kochi, a city in the southern state of Kerala, has risen to seven. Police said that the exact number of passengers on board at the time of the tragedy has yet to be ascertained. However, they say that preliminary investigation indicates that there were around 35 people in the boat, which is said to be three-decades old. The boat was allegedly hit by a speeding fishing craft in the harbor of Fort Kochi on Wednesday. http://bit.ly/1JoQixr

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.