Daily World News Digest, 28 September 2016

UN Court clashes with Serbia over witness intimidation

Balkan Insight reports today that “Serbia’s continued non-compliance with its obligations obstructs the course of justice,” according to a memo released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia about Belgrade’s refusal to extradite three of its nationals accused of witness intimidation during the war crimes trial of Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj. The three individuals are accused of being in contempt of court for threatening witnesses at Seselj’s trial. They are also accused of blackmailing protected witnesses and offering them bribes of 500 euros not to testify. http://bit.ly/2dtemp4

Dutch Srebrenica peacekeepers may sue for ‘mission impossible’

Yahoo News reports today that about 100 former Dutch UN peacekeepers may sue the government for sending them to defend the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica in 1995, after the defense ministry admitted it had been a “mission impossible,” lawyers said Tuesday. The move comes just after the European Court of Human Rights on Thursday dismissed a claim that Dutch commanders should be prosecuted for failing to prevent the deaths of three victims of the 1995 massacre. “The state sent these soldiers on a mission impossible and then abandoned them,” lawyer Michael Ruperti told AFP. Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II occurred in mid-July 1995, when lightly armed UN Dutch peacekeepers were overrun by Bosnian Serb troops in the supposedly UN-protected “safe haven” of Srebrenica. Almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed and their bodies dumped in mass graves. http://yhoo.it/2cUIOHs

Egypt’s policy on refugees and migrants

Middle East Monitor reported yesterday on a series of mass fatalities as large numbers of refugees and migrants try to reach Europe through Egypt. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi recently told the UN General Assembly that countering illegal immigration is a top priority for the Egyptian government who has increased efforts to secure its borders. Egypt has an anti-trafficking Law that stipulates prison terms of three to 15 years and fines of over $25,000 for smugglers. Since the fighting in Libya has worsened and Da’esh has consolidated its presence in the country, more and more refugees are choosing Egypt over Libya as a starting point for the journey to Europe and Al-Sisi has been under growing pressure internationally to deal with the refugee crisis. Last Friday President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz suggested that Egypt should not be allowed to receive its $12 billion IMF loan if it does not cooperate with the EU on curbing migrant flows. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the EU should establish a migrant deal with Egypt similar to the one it struck with Turkey earlier this year. http://bit.ly/2d3kLZ7

Thailand: A culture of torture under the military

Amnesty International reports today that since seizing power in a 2014 coup, Thailand’s military authorities “have allowed a culture of torture and other ill-treatment to flourish across the country, with soldiers and policemen targeting suspected insurgents, political opponents, and individuals from the most vulnerable sections of society”. Many of the torture victims interviewed by Amnesty International said they were tortured during the first seven days of detention – the period when the military is allowed to hold them in unofficial places and without contact with the outside world or any other safeguards against ill-treatment. Thailand is currently preparing a draft Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act, which would criminalize torture and establish other safeguards against torture. http://bit.ly/2d2V0bp

Four Ugandans missing in South Sudan

All Africa reported yesterday that the whereabouts of four Ugandans is still unknown three weeks after their bus was ambushed en route to Uganda from South Sudan. One person later succumbed to gunshot wounds while five others were injured following an attack on the bus by gunmen in the South Sudan capital, Juba, on 3 September. Four people including the bus driver, his conductor and two passengers disappeared. South Sudan Liberation Army (SPLA) troops and Juba police are searching for the missing persons in collaboration with the Ugandan embassy in Juba. http://bit.ly/2d8U1p0

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.