Daily World News Digest, 29 March 2016

ICMP begins exhuming Yazidi mass graves in Sinjar, Iraq

AhlulBayt News Agency reported on 28 March that a team of international experts began exhuming the mass graves of Yazidis on Sunday, March 27 and documenting the evidence of the atrocities committed by the ISIS militants against the religious minority of Yazidis in Sinjar. Trefor Williams, the Head of Iraq Program ICMP, explained that they are trying to preserve the mass graves sites to remain as evidences of massacres waged against Yazidis in Iraq. ICMP will be training and professionalizing local experts to continue exhuming the mass graves, Williams explained.  http://bit.ly/1RH247s

Nigeria: A year on, no word on 300 abducted children

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today saying that the Nigerian government should take urgent steps to secure the release of about 400 women and children, including at least 300 elementary school students, abducted by Boko Haram from the town of Damasak in Borno State a year ago. It is unclear whether the Nigerian government has made any serious effort to secure their release. Damasak is the largest documented school abduction by Boko Haram militants. Yet it has drawn far less public attention than the group’s widely condemned abduction of 276 school girls from a government secondary school in Chibok in April 2014. http://bit.ly/1MOVFpI

South Africa: Remains of hanged men to be exhumed

Independent Online, a news portal from South Africa, carried a story on 27 March saying that South Africa will, within the next week, commence the exhumation of 83 political prisoners who were previously hanged at the then Pretoria Central Prison during the apartheid era, Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced on Wednesday. Speaking at the launch of the gallows exhumation project at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Pretoria, Masutha said at least 83 of the 130 people who were hanged for politically-related offences between 1960 and 1990 will be exhumed by Missing Persons Task Team in the National Prosecuting Authority who will be conducting the exhumations of their remains. http://bit.ly/1MOWcYx

42 police arrested as 3 more youths missing in Veracruz, Mexico

Mexico News Daily carried a story on 28 March saying that three more youths have disappeared in Veracruz and, once again, municipal police have been arrested as suspects. State police arrested 41 out of 180 officers and municipality’s police chief in the municipal headquarters in Papantla and 41 of its 180 officers. The arrests come nine days after the disappearance of three young men in two separate incidents in this city in the north of the state of Veracruz. The Papantla story is similar to that of Tierra Blanca, where five youths were detained in January by local police, and Ayotzinapa-Iguala, where 43 disappeared. http://bit.ly/1SiKeYY

Egypt’s National Security renews detention for 14-year-old charged with terrorism

Daily News Egypt reported on 28 March that the State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of 14-year-old Asser Zahr El-Deen for an additional 15 days, his lawyer Mokhtar Mounir. Zahr El-Deen, who is charged with belonging to a terrorist group, was arrested on 12 January. According to Mounir, following Zahr El-Deen’s arrest his family sent letter to the Boulaq Al-Dakrour prosecution about their son’s arrest and demanded information about his whereabouts. An official AT the Ministry of Interior told Daily News Egypt: “There is no such thing as the enforced disappearance phenomenon.” http://bit.ly/1WTK3ar

Families call on public to not forget missing Mexican students

Fox News Latino carried a story on 27 March saying that relatives of the 43 students who disappeared in southern Mexico in 2014 planted forget-me-nots this weekend in Mexico City to mark 18 months since the young people went missing. About 100 people gathered on Saturday at the makeshift memorial on Mexico City’s iconic Paseo de la Reforma that protesters have labeled an “anti-monument” to plant flowers in memory of the 43 Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School students who disappeared on 26 September, 2014 in Iguala in the southern state of Guerrero. http://bit.ly/1TeJyc1

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.