Daily World News Digest, 28 October 2016

Slovenia reburies 800 bodies from post-WWII mass grave

Stars and Stripes carried a story yesterday on Thursday’s reburial in Slovenia of the remains of some 800 people found in a mass grave containing the bodies of thousands believed killed in the aftermath of World War II by the communist authorities. The remains were laid to rest in a memorial park in Maribor, northeastern Slovenia, alongside other victims of post-WWII summary executions. The victims are believed to be mostly Croats and Slovenes from WWII pro-Nazi groups killed by the victorious communists. Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic laid a wreath as part of commemoration ceremonies. Grabar Kitarovic said the victims of communist executions should be treated with dignity. “Historic truth must be established because it presents a basis for a better future,” said Grabar Kitarovic. “Each victim deserves respect.” The so-called Huda Jama mass grave was discovered in 2009 in an abandoned mine east of Ljubljana. Experts say it contains the remains of up to 5,000 people. Pavel Jamnik, a senior policeman working on the excavations, said most of the 800 victims uncovered so far were soldiers but civilians and women also were found in the pit. http://bit.ly/2eYdbxi

Egypt’s Sisi pledges reviews of protest law, detentions

Reuters reported yesterday that Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has promised to amend a law that human rights groups say has severely restricted protest rights. Sisi also hinted at possible pardons for young people imprisoned without having been convicted. Speaking at a youth conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday, the former general said a committee would review the cases of young people held in pre-trial detention and present its findings in two weeks so the presidency could take appropriate action. Sisi insisted that as President he does not have the authority to interfere in the judicial process in Egypt but is able to issue pardons. http://reut.rs/2e1F2iD

Draft of new counter-terror law triggers old fears in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Guardian reported yesterday that even as Sri Lanka drafts a new law to counter terrorism, human rights activists and lawyers in the country fear it might be worse than the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) they want repealed and replaced. According to human rights activist Ruki Fernando, the draft policy and legal framework of the counter-terror law, much like the PTA, have broad definitions that may infringe free expression and human rights activism. “Like the PTA, it [the new law] can serve as a license for enforced disappearances and torture, taking away life-saving protections when it is most needed — within the first few hours and days of a person being arrested,” says Mr. Fernando, who was in March 2014 arrested under the PTA and released on bail after two days of interrogation. http://bit.ly/2dSdubS

India: Six villagers missing after battle between police and Maoists

The Business Standard reported yesterday that at least six persons, including three women, from a district on the on Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border where 28 Maoists were killed in a battle with police on 24 October are reportedly missing. Villagers say the missing were abducted by Maoists. http://bit.ly/2eTqjoT

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.