Daily World News Digest, 28 February 2018

 Government inaction in Pakistan as enforced disappearances continue

Dawn newspaper in Pakistan published an editorial today saying that “an air of stultifying inaction has descended over the issue of enforced disappearances, even as people continue to go missing.” It notes that the Supreme Court has cited the government’s failure to locate missing persons and has asked the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to submit a report on its “perceptible progress”. “Umpteen court hearings and multiple meetings of the commission have achieved virtually nothing, and thousands of families continue to exist in limbo, not knowing whether their loved ones are alive or dead,” the paper says. http://bit.ly/2sYa8B4

Philippines “open to inquiry” into extrajudicial killings

The Philippines will allow an investigation into alleged human rights abuses in its war on drugs by a “credible and objective investigator”, officials have said, but not an investigation by UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard. Some estimates put the number of people killed by police since the start of the drug war at 4,000; thousands more may have been killed by unidentified armed men. Human rights groups and opposition groups say executions of drug users and small-time peddlers are widespread and systematic. http://bit.ly/2FcxtE3

Police, cartel leader sought in case of missing Italians

Authorities in Jalisco in Western Mexico are searching for three police officers and a drug cartel leader in connection with the disappearance of three Italian men on 31 January 31. One of the wanted officers is the police chief in Tecalitlán, the town where the men were last seen, while another is allegedly a local leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Four officers have already been arrested. The Jalisco Attorney General’s office said the officers confessed that they “sold” the Italians to an organized crime group, but it is unclear why and it didn’t say to which one. If convicted of the crime of enforced disappearance, the officers — three men and one woman — could face prison terms of up to 60 years. http://bit.ly/2Fbnkr2

Burundi: critics bullied in Burundi Draft Referendum

Rights groups in Burundi have accused authorities of embarking on a massive operation of forced registration of the electorate, including minors, and of inciting violence against opponents of the constitutional referendum set to take place in May. The referendum has been described as an attempt to give President Pierre Nkurunziza an opportunity to retain power for at least the next 14 years. In 2017, the human rights group, Ligue Iteka, documented 456 murders, 283 victims of torture, 89 enforced disappearances and 77 victims of sexual violence against women in Burundi. http://bit.ly/2CNh6J1

French priest uncovers mass graves of murdered Jews

The Jewish Voice has profiled the work of Father Patrick Desbois, a French priest who has uncovered the murder of 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe during World War II. While the mass execution of Jews in countries such as Poland, France and Germany in Nazi concentration camps and death camps is well documented, in the eastern countries including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other neighboring nations, the Nazis used a different method to murder Jews. Over a million and a half Jews in these regions were murdered by mobile Nazi military units called Einsatzgruppen. Jews were forced into fields and woods, shot, and buried, their mass graves left unmarked and forgotten. http://bit.ly/2FA5njL

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.