Daily World News Digest, 28 September 2017

El Salvador launches commission to find those missing from civil war

El Salvador on Wednesday launched the first commission to search for persons who went missing during its civil war, 25 years after the end of a conflict. The 1980-1992 war between the US-backed army and the Marxist guerrillas of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), now the ruling party, left 75,000 dead and 8,000 missing. Last year, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an amnesty law that has prevented since 1993 investigating and prosecuting those accused of war crimes in El Salvador. http://reut.rs/2yv9hpB

Extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh

An editorial in The Daily Star newspaper from Bangladesh addresses the issue of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. It says that in the last 13 years, 1,900 people have been victims of extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh, of whom 800 died in police custody. “Law enforcement agencies have become so emboldened by the impunity they enjoy, it says, that human rights violations have become “something of a norm”. It notes that “between 2010 and July this year as many as 519 people have become victims of enforced disappearances – 329 of whom are still missing”. http://bit.ly/2wl5tGL

Myanmar: contested narratives around mass graves

The bodies of Hindu villagers were put on display on Wednesday during an official press trip to view two mass graves in Rakhine State. Myanmar authorities told the reporters the victims were killed by the militant Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Grieving relatives watched over the bodies, which were lined up on a grassy slope amid paddy fields. The toll included women and children. According to the military, ARSA killed the villagers on 25 August, the same day the group raided police outposts and drew a heavy military response. ARSA posted a statement on Twitter Wednesday categorically denying that its members “perpetrated murder, sexual violence, or forcible recruitment” in late August. The group called on the army to stop “victim-blaming.” http://bit.ly/2xCyije

Nigerian military urged to produce pro-Biafra leader

The lawyer of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement, has filed an application at the Federal High Court in Abuja asking the court to compel the Nigerian army to produce Mr. Kanu. The Army has not admitted that it has Mr. Kanu in its custody, nor has any security agency. The IPOB leader was last seen on 14 September when clashes occurred between members of his group and soldiers during an army exercise in Abia State in southeast Nigeria. http://bit.ly/2wXATYa

Philippines: Book of the Disappeared

The Philippine Daily Inquirer has published an opinion piece on the 45th anniversary of the imposition of martial law, examining efforts to account for more than 1,300 people who were victims of enforced disappearance during and after the Marcos dictatorship. The author notes that nothing will “dim the resolve of families to find their loved ones who were forcibly made to disappear by state forces several decades ago. Nothing deters them. Not power and might, not time and distance.” http://bit.ly/2fAOkpp

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.