Daily World News Digest, 29 July 2016

Iraqi forces find mass grave containing 25 ISIS victims inside school in Fallujah after seizing city back from the terror group

Daily Mail, a daily from the UK, reported yesterday that a mass grave containing the human remains of 25 ISIS victims has been discovered in a school in war-torn Fallujah, Iraq. The city was recaptured in the end of May after brutal fighting between Iraqi forces and the ISIS. The terror group fled leaving behind a broken city of bomb-rigged buildings and empty streets. Iraqi forces searched buildings and found the bones that show traces of gunfire amid fears the victims were all executed by extremists. A state official said the mass grave contained skeletal remains of 25 persons who were executed by ISIS during its control on the city. According to Daily Mail, Only scattered signs of ISIS’s self-declared ‘caliphate’ remain in the city, that was seized by anti-government fighters in early 2014 and later became a key jihadist stronghold. http://dailym.ai/2aBzxaN

Indonesia: Indicted General unfit for Cabinet Post

Human Rights Watch yesterday urged Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo to reverse his decision to appoint a former general indicted for crimes against humanity as his new security minister. HRW said the former general Wiranto was the Indonesian Military (TNI) commander in 1999, when the country’s army and military-backed militias carried out numerous atrocities against East Timorese after they voted for independence. In 2003 Wiranto was indicted for crimes against humanity by the UN-sponsored Special Panels for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court and named a chief suspect by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). According to HRW, Wiranto’s appointment calls into question President Jokowi’s commitment to pursuing accountability for human rights violations. Those abuses include the 1965-1966 massacres and 11 high-priority human rights cases in Papua. http://bit.ly/2amhL6N

Suspected mass grave yields no traces of Kosovo’s missing

ABC News reported today that according to Kosovo’s special prosecutor’s office, excavations at the Pristina Campus have found no traces of a mass grave that was suspected to contain bodies of Albanians killed during the war in 1999. Excavations began two weeks ago because of suspicions that the area near Pristina University was the site of a mass grave. The prosecutor’s office said Thursday that no human remains were found. About 1,650 people are listed as missing since the Kosovo-Serbia war in 1999. Kosovo, now an independent country, came under UN and NATO administration after a NATO-led air assault halted the Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists. http://abcn.ws/2azgnkz

Activists in Kiev call on Russia to investigate disappearances in Crimea

UAWire, a daily from Ukraine, reported yesterday that activists held a protest in Kiev in support of Erwin Ibrahimov and other Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars who have disappeared in the Crimea. Around 20 people including human rights advocates, NGO representatives and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, as well as Crimean resident and former political prisoner in Russia Gennady Afanasiev came to the Russian Embassy in Kiev with “Where is Erwin?” placards. According to the participants in the protest, the attention of the world community should be drawn to this problem. After the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, cases of disappearances became more frequent, mainly among Crimean Tatars. At the same time, the Russian-controlled Crimean Sledcom (Investigative Committee) argues that “there are no mass disappearances of Crimean Tatars on the peninsula”. http://bit.ly/2azj5qk

No one knows how many children are dying in the Mediterranean – ‘I remember thinking; “Just hours ago this child was alive” ‘

The Telegraph, a daily from the UK, carried a story yesterday that brings testimonies of volunteers and humanitarian workers about the tragical journey migrants take from Libya across the Mediterranean. The boats leave the coast near Tripoli before dawn and set off into the expanse of the sea. But their plan is not to sail until they reach Italy, said Telegraph. Instead, the boat’s amateur captains steer north until they estimate they have cleared Libya’s international waters and then raise a distress call using a satellite phone provided by the smugglers, and then they wait and hope. This year alone, 2,977 people have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to the IOM’s best estimates – a rate of around 20 people a day. Among them were at least 42 children. “We believe the numbers are higher, yet so many bodies are not recovered in these incidents it is impossible to know”, said Daniel Szabo, IOM. http://bit.ly/2amjDfI

Chinese relatives of those on MH370 ask for search to continue

Reuters reported today that Chinese relatives of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing in March 2014 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, made an emotional plea on Friday for the search to continue. Last week, Malaysia, China and Australia said in a joint statement that the hunt for MH370 would be suspended if the aircraft was not found in an area now being searched. Almost $135 million has been spent since then on an underwater search spanning 120,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean. About 30 family members gathered at China’s foreign ministry to hand over the petition. “We oppose their decision. We don’t recognise it at all. That decision has no reason behind it,” said Boa Lanfang, 65, whose son, daughter-in-law and grandson were on the flight. http://reut.rs/2aenT20

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.