Daily World News Digest, 30 August 2017

Horror of disappeared women in Syrian prisons

On International Day of the Disappeared, campaigners are calling on the UN to focus on the plight of people detained by the Assad regime in Syria. “While we hear about the sieges, the civilians displaced by conflict and the refugees, people know very little about the hidden horrors those in detention are facing,” said Amnesty’s Syria campaigns manager, Kristyan Benedict. The majority of female prisoners are held in Adra prison in Damascus, according to Amnesty. In the early days of the uprising female detainees were mainly political activists or humanitarian workers. But as the crisis escalated it became more common for other women, often relatives of opposition fighters, to be arrested and used as bargaining chips, sometimes for prisoner swaps. http://bit.ly/2iIpRyX

Libyan coastguard rescues nearly 500 migrants and refugees off Tripoli

Libya’s coastguard rescued nearly 500 people on Tuesday at sea west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman for Libya’s naval forces said, underlining the challenge of trying to slow an exodus from Africa and the Middle East. In four separate coastguard operations, migrants from countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Cuba and Angola, were rounded up and registered at the port in Ayvacik, before being sent to a repatriation center in the western Turkish province of Canakkale. http://bit.ly/2x3Ecfd

Call for an end to enforced disappearances in China

Human rights groups have called on China to end “self-legalized” enforced disappearances and have urged China to sign the International Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance. China passed a law in 2012 that effectively legalizes the enforced disappearance of persons suspected of offenses against national security or terrorism. China also targets lawyers and human rights activists with “residential surveillance”. The UN Human Rights Council has documented 41 disappearance cases in China in the last year and China has repeatedly denied visits by the Council’s working group. http://bit.ly/2xwDpB9

Afghanistan: uncover the truth about enforced disappearances

Human Rights Watch has issued a statement on the legacy of tens of thousands of Afghans who have been victims of enforced disappearance over the past four decades. “Most of the disappeared are buried in mass graves which are yet to be exhumed,” HRW says. “Thousands of families are still waiting to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of their loved ones, sometimes even 40 years on.” HRW calls on the Afghan government to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and implement its provisions’. http://bit.ly/2whiPpD

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.