Daily World News Digest, 29 December 2015

Progress in search of Colombian cemeteries after missing

Prensa Latina reported on 28 December that the director of the Institute of Legal Medicine, Carlos Valdes, informed today that there have been progress in the exhumation works in several Colombian cemeteries in order to expedite the identification of people buried as unknown citizens. Such investigations are the result of previous agreements between representatives of the government and the FARC-EP in Havana to track missing persons in the context of the internal armed conflict.  Under this agreement both the security forces and the guerrilla movement shall provide information about deceased citizens, in order to promote the recovery of the remains and their delivery to the families. http://bit.ly/1SkfhYd

Court upholds acquittals in missing lawyer Somchai case

Bangkok Post reported today that The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the appellate court’s acquittal of all five police officers charged with the robbery and coercion of “disappeared” human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit 11 years ago. The The Supreme Court also ruled that Somchai’s family could not act as a co-plaintiff as there was no evidence showing that Somchai was dead or seriously injured. Mr Somchai was abducted on 12 March, 2004, when he was defending people allegedly tortured by police during an investigation. Five police officers were seen bundling him into a car on Ramkhamhaeng Road, in Bangkok. His wife Angkhana Neelapaijit, now a human rights commissioner, said earlier said the ruling would affect the cases of other victims of enforced disappearance. http://bit.ly/1ZyQqSy

Indonesia condemned for deporting previously abducted asylum seeker to UAE

Middle East Monitor reported on 28 December that the Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR) has condemned Indonesia’s decision to hand over UAE national Abdulrahman Al-Suaidi to Emirati intelligence officers following his abduction in a secret operation involving security officials from both states. According to AOHR, on the evening of 18 December, though, five UAE and six Indonesian intelligence officers abducted the UAE national from the police station and took him to Hang Nadim Batam Airport where he was put on a flight for Abu Dhabi. AOHR condemned the move and stressed that this was a violation of both Indonesian law and the 1951 Geneva Conventions on the rights of political refugees. http://bit.ly/1QWOOAx

Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria leave 52 dead

CNN reported today that attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants have left more than 50 people dead and as many as 114 others wounded in the northeastern Nigerian cities of Maiduguri and Madagali in the past 24 hours. Three young female suicide bombers detonated explosives at a market in Madagali Monday morning, killing 30 people. Sunday evening in Maiduguri, Nigerian troops battled armed Boko Haram fighters trying to enter the city. The militant group has frequently attacked Madagali and in August 2014 briefly captured the town, forcing residents to flee to the state capital of Yola. The attacks came less than a week after President Muhammadu Buhari said in an interview with the BBC that Nigeria had “technically” won the war against Boko Haram. http://cnn.it/22vTGk8

When refugee children disappear

World crunch news portal carried a story on 28 December saying that about 60,000 underage refugees have arrived in Germany this year without their parents. An alarming number are disappearing from custody. Experts warn they are vulnerable to both human traffickers and Islamists. The lack of attention comes despite the fact that cases of missing refugee children, mostly from youth centers where they are housed, are on such a steep rise that authorities can’t seem to cope. The southern German city of Regensburg alone counts 85 missing children, and 50 more in the surrounding area. There are no official numbers for how many children simply disappear. Authorities often simply stop looking for these kids because of the chaotic situation. http://bit.ly/1YOSwLG

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.