Daily World News Digest, 30 June 2015

Amnesty says Egypt in “repression”

Sky News reported on 30 June that two years after the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has regressed into “all-out repression”, with activists jailed in a bid to crush dissent, according to Amnesty International. The London-based rights watchdog said that Egyptian authorities led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are engaged in a blatant attempt to “nip in the bid any future threat to their rule”. “Mass protests have been replaced by mass arrests,” Amnesty said in a statement on Tuesday, ahead of the second anniversary on Friday of the 3 July 2013 ouster of the Islamist Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader. “Today… youth activists are languishing behind bars, providing every indication that Egypt has regressed into a state of all-out repression,” the statement quoted Amnesty’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui as saying. It said a government crackdown has resulted in more than 41,000 people arrested, charged or indicted with a criminal offence, or sentenced after unfair trials. “The Egyptian authorities have shown that they will stop at nothing in their attempts to crush all challenges to their authority,” Hadj Sahraoui said. http://bit.ly/1IpqeDv

Laos Condemned for Failure to Embrace Human Rights Reforms

Phuket Wan, a news portal from Laos, carried a story today saying that the Lao government’s failure to accept key recommendations received during its latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has turned the UN-backed review process into a farce, according to a statement issued today by the International Federation of Human Rights Organizations (FIDH) and its member organization, the Lao Movement for Human Rights. ”The Lao government’s defensive attitude and blanket denials have made its review a farce. The latest Laos review has clearly shown that Vientiane is unwilling to address important human rights issues,” said FIDH President Karim Lahidji. On 23 June, Laos accepted 116 of the 196 recommendations it received at its second review in January 2015. According to Thongphane Savanhphet, the Lao government’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, the remaining 80 recommendations ”did not enjoy the full support” of the government. The government rejected all eight recommendations that called for investigations into all allegations of enforced disappearance in the country and dismissed such allegations as “not true.” http://bit.ly/1U34uSn

IOM Joins Forces with Interpol to Combat Child Trafficking in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on 26 June that 48 child victims of trafficking have been rescued and 22 alleged traffickers have been arrested pursuant to the AKOMA Police Operation carried out at the beginning of June 2015. The AKOMA Operation is the latest of a series of operations against child trafficking and exploitation in West Africa. It is supported by the innovative partnership between INTERPOL and IOM. The Operation was carried out in the cocoa and trade sectors in the San Pedro area, located in the South-West of Côte d’Ivoire. IOM, in coordination with the social workers, over the next months, will provide tailored assistance to those children and identify ad hoc durable solutions (such as return to their biological family or foster families) to ensure their long-term reintegration and prevent a possible return to the trafficking networks. As poverty is one of the driving causes of trafficking, IOM will assist the most vulnerable families through income generating activities to increase their livelihood and ensure the proper care of their children. The majority of the children and their families were not aware of the illegality of child trafficking and child labor and the operation provided the opportunity to raise awareness on these issues. http://bit.ly/1LzhBHw

Russia to present its own resolution on Bosnia to UN

b92 reported on 29 June that the Russian mission at the United Nations in New York will on Monday submit a draft resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN Security Council. According to the media in Belgrade, this draft is “a counter proposal” to the British document on Srebrenica, and the Security Council will immediately start consultations on it. The daily Vecernje Novosti writes that Belgrade will send a new letter to all 15 of the Council’s members, pointing out that the British draft is “unacceptable and not in the interest of Serbia and the region, as it does not contribute to reconciliation, but to creating new tensions.” The daily Blic meanwhile quotes diplomatic circles who said that the Russian resolution does not mention Srebrenica or any other crime by name – but instead “condemns all war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s.” http://bit.ly/1HvtTRj

Serb Leaders “Toying” With UN Srebrenica Resolution

Balkan Insight carried a story today saying that the Bosnian Serb Chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency has accused the presidents of Serbia and of Republika Srpska of using the tensions over the British-backed UN Srebrenica resolution for their own political intrigues. The Bosnian Serb Chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, Mladen Ivanic, on Monday berated Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and the President of the Serb-dominated Bosnian entity of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, about their positions regarding the resolution which the UK has proposed to the UN Security Council. Following a joint session of Serbian and Republika Srpska governments on Friday, Nikolic and Dodik called on Ivanic to chair a session at which the Bosnian presidency would take a joint stand against the Srebrenica resolution. http://bit.ly/1C44I6h

Nikolic: Resolution on Srebrenica attempt to mark Serbs as genocidal

InSerbia Network Foundation carried a story today saying that Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic stated on Monday that the draft resolution on Srebrenica delivered to the UN Security Council by the Great Britain is a disrespectful attempt at labeling one nation as genocidal. http://bit.ly/1U32LMT

Balochistan: Baloch leader calls citizens “most oppressed in world”

International Business Times carried a story on 29 June saying reporting on a conference held in Geneva on 26 June, at which human rights activists and members of the Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) urged the international community “to pay attention to crimes committed by the Pakistani government against Baloch people”. Enforced disappearances – most often of men and boys – occur regularly throughout Pakistan particularly in Balochistan and north west Pakistan, but also in Punjab and Sindh provinces, activists said. http://bit.ly/1LFenTL

Zimbabwe rights lawyers condemn torture

Bulawayo24 News reports on a call by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for an end to torture in country. “On International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) joins the rest of the world in condemning the continued systematic and widespread use of torture on innocent citizens and stands in solidarity with all victims of this heinous crime,” said ZLHR. Commemorated on 26 June 2015 under the theme “Right to Rehabilitation (R2R)”, the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture “gives us the opportunity to stand united and remind the world that torture is a grave violation of fundamental human rights,” ZLHR said. “It is imperative to ensure that many torture survivors have access to the rehabilitation they deserve and have a right to. Arbitrary arrest, torture, abduction and detention of human rights defenders remain common,” said ZLHR. http://bit.ly/1BSSZXW

DNA project in Indian state shelved

The Times of India reported on 28 June that families of as many as 4,119 people who went missing in flooding in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand in 2013 may never have closure. Two years after the tragedy, an ambitious plan to match the DNA of all the decomposed dead bodies that were cremated onsite with samples collected from families of those missing, has been shelved—largely because of finances and logistics involved. The state argues that families of all the missing have already been given death certificates overruling a seven-year cap on such declaration and so there is no need for DNA testing anymore. http://bit.ly/1FMM8dq

Why Nigeria needs to address impunity

Amnesty International carried a story on 29 June saying that the April report showed that in addition to abducting at least 2,000 women and girls, Boko Haram had killed at least 5,500 civilians and brutalized tens of thousands between 2014 and March 2015. Amnesty evidence of a systematic process whereby more than 7,000 mainly young Nigerian men and boys died in military detention and more than 1,200 people were unlawfully killed. The vast majority of those unlawfully murdered were non-combatants, most killed following arbitrary arrests. http://bit.ly/1FMMXmA

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.