Daily World News Digest, 29 February 2016

Investigators exhume the nameless dead of Colombia’s half-century-long civil war

The Guardian reported on 26 February that as part of the peace process with Farc rebels, the search is under way, in places like La Macarena, for 45,000 who died without record during the conflict. As a deal to end Colombia’s half-century-long conflict nears, this lonely cemetery in a former rebel stronghold has become a hive of activity. The past two weeks, criminal investigators have been digging up the dead in hopes of identifying 464 people buried in unmarked paupers’ graves. Human rights groups applaud the effort but say the scope of Colombia’s bloodletting requires more resources. http://bit.ly/1OB1XIK 

Madhya Pradesh: 60 women go missing daily, many abducted or pushed into trafficking

Hindustan Times carried a story on 28 February saying that the government of India’s central province Madhya Pradesh, admitted in the state assembly that as many as 26,997 cases of kidnapping, human trafficking or missing persons related to women were reported from 11 November, 2014 to 31 January, 2016. Thus on an average every day more than 60 women went missing in the state.  This information came from home minister Babulal Gaur. Of the 26,997 women who went missing, 6,080 were reported kidnapped, 87 pushed into human trafficking and remaining 20,630 as missing. http://bit.ly/21uLimQ

Akinci says information on Assia remains will be ‘carefully evaluated’

Cyprus Mail reported on 28 February that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Sunday the information that came to light recently about the possible remains of 100 missing Greek Cypriots allegedly buried in Assia would be carefully evaluated. In a written statement Akinci said: “I have already spoken with the Turkish Cypriot member of the CMP regarding this matter.” According to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), 104 missing persons are being sought in the vicinity of Assia, of whom the remains of 80 have already been identified. http://bit.ly/1UtyMi3

Missing Hong Kong booksellers say arrested for ‘illegal trading’

Reuters reported today that four of the five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing in October appeared on Chinese television confirming for the first time they’d been detained for “illegal book trading” in mainland China. Four of the men, Gui Minhai, Lui Por, Cheung Chi-ping and Lam Wing-kee, gave details of their alleged offences to Phoenix Television on Sunday night. In a four-minute report that involved exclusive interviews with the four, they confessed to selling “unauthorized” books in China via an online platform and evading customs inspections to deliver some 4000 books. Gui had previously confessed on Chinese state television to a fatal drink-driving incident over a decade ago, after going missing in Thailand late last year. http://reut.rs/1Qf5mBe

Germany says it lost 130,000 refugees

Business Insider carried a story on 27 February saying that the German government does not know the whereabouts of around 13 percent of the refugees who entered the country last year. Following a demand from the German Left Party, authorities released a parliamentary document on Friday that said 130,000 people who registered for asylum last year are missing. About 13 percent did not turn up at the reception centers to which they had been directed. According to data from the UNHCR, more than 120,000 migrants have already reached European shores this year, and 410 people have died while attempting the perilous crossing of the Aegean Sea. http://read.bi/1OHfGxA

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.