Daily World News Digest, 28 September 2015

Migrant crisis: 17 people drown after boat sinks off Turkish coast

The BBC reported on 27 September that 17 migrants attempting to reach Greece by boat from Turkey drowned after their boat sank off the Turkish coast. The victims, all thought to be Syrians, included five women and five children, local media said. Another 20 people on deck, who were wearing life jackets, survived. Some 300,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Greece so far this year, most of them moving on to try to reach other EU countries. Separately, at least 500 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean over weekend in at least seven operations involving the Italian coastguard and navy and a ship belonging to the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres. The rescued migrants are thought to be largely from Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Sierra Leone and left Libya three days earlier. http://bbc.in/1LVFXaO

Working meeting on enforced disappearances in Belarus

Charter 97 from Belarus reported on 27 September that a working meeting on ending impunity for abduction was held on 24 September in Warsaw: abductions and killings of opposition leaders in Belarus were discussed. Coordinator of the “European Belarus” civil society campaign Andrei Sannikov told participants that 16 years have passed since the disappearance of Yuri Zakharenko, Viktor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, and 15 years since the abduction of Dmitry Zavadsky. He said the EU should not lift sanctions against the Belarusian regime until these cases are investigated. http://bit.ly/1WsExvU

Missing persons protest in Balochistan

The Balochwarna news portal reported on 26 September that the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) held a protest in front of the Quetta Press Club on 24 September to demand the release of abducted Baloch activists. Relatives of the abducted persons attended the protest on Friday in front of the Quetta Press Club. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Vice-Chair Mama Qadeer Baloch said that no progress has been made to address the issue of enforced disappearances in Balochistan. http://bit.ly/1KHAYJL

Protest marks anniversary of Mexican students’ disappearance

Voice of America reported on 26 September that hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Mexico City on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students. Families, friends and supporters of the students have regularly marched to demand that authorities determine what happened to them. The 43 students from a teachers college disappeared on 26 September 2014 after a clash with police in Iguala, a city in the southern state of Guerrero. Only two sets of remains have been identified so far. Mexico’s former attorney general has said local police illegally detained the students and then turned them over to the local drug gang Guerreros Unidos, which then allegedly killed them and incinerated their remains. A group of independent experts assembled by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights took apart that version earlier this month, saying authorities knew who the students were from the minute they headed for Iguala, and at the very least did nothing to stop the attacks. http://bit.ly/1FthXzc

US Marines Return Home 7 Decades Later

ABC reported on 27 September on the location and recovery of the bodies of US marines who were killed at the Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific in November 1943. More than 1,200 Americans were killed in the three-day battle. Nine years ago a nonprofit organization called History Flight began work on the island to recover – hidden under 12 inches of crushed coral rock for more than seven decades – the remains of American prisoners of war and those deemed missing in action. In partnership with the US Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, it has found the remains of more than 120 soldiers spread across the chain of islands. Dental patterns identified 22 of the 36 found on the Tawara Atoll; for the rest of the remains, researchers analyzed nuclear DNA from bone samples, matched against samples from immediate family whom History Flight researchers tracked down. http://abcn.ws/1LHbPnJ

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.