Daily World News Digest, 30 June 2017

Protests in Pakistan against enforced disappearances

The News from Pakistan carried a story on Thursday about a series of protests in Karachi against alleged abductions and disappearances of dozens of political workers. On Wednesday, protesters continued sit-ins and hunger strikes, demanding safe recovery of the missing persons from, as they say, the custody of law enforcement agencies. The article quotes activist Punhal Sario, who says that law enforcement agencies have picked up more than 40 activists, mainly belonging to Sindhi ethnic parties, and have not disclosed their whereabouts. http://bit.ly/2snFYGN

Human Rights investigations stalled in Gambia

JollofNews.com, a web portal that covers events in Senegal and Gambia, reported on Thursday that investigations into alleged killings and forced disappearances committed by the regime of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh have come to a halt. The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has stated that investigations are delayed due to difficulties in the exhumation and identification of bodies and the fact that many of the perpetrators have left Gambia. A WGEID delegation recently met government and non-governmental institutions in Gambia, including the Panel on Missing Persons, and disclosed that currently there are 35 possible cases of enforced disappearance. http://bit.ly/2u5EgqR

UK: No final Grenfell Tower death toll this year, according to the police

On Wednesday, the BBC reported that the final Grenfell Tower fire toll will not be known until at least the end of the year, with 80 people currently presumed dead. According to the police, 18 people connected to 106 flats caught in the fire are dead or missing, and police officers have to prepare some families for the reality that their relatives’ remains may never be recovered. http://bbc.in/2umURFM

Human Rights Watch calls for human rights to be discussed at EU-Egypt meeting

Human Rights Watch has called on the EU to include human rights concerns in the first EU-Egypt Association Council gathering since the military removed former President Mohamed Morsy in 2013. “In the face of escalating arrests, killings, torture, and enforced disappearances the EU and its member states should firmly address Egypt’s brutal repression of dissenting and critical voices and set out clear and public benchmarks for improvement,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement. http://bit.ly/2tnDl7x

Death toll rises to 164 in Pakistan after fatal oil tanker blast

The Nation, a newspaper from Pakistan, ran a story on Thursday regarding the oil tanker blast in Bahawalpur in the eastern part of the country, in which it has now been reported that the death toll has risen to 164. The Assistant Commissioner of Bahawalpur has confirmed that 125 people have been buried in a mass grave and DNA samples of all the victims have now been completed. Caskets have been labelled according to DNA reports so that families will be able to identify the bodies of victims, the paper said. http://bit.ly/2tsjQu2

Iranian activists urge human rights organizations to stop the destruction of mass graves

Iran Focus, a web portal that focuses on events in Iran, Iraq and the Middle East, carried a story on Wednesday condemning the destruction of mass graves which, it says, provide “crucial evidence for the 1988 massacre in which 30,000 political prisoners died”. The online source reports that without this evidence, the perpetrators may never be held accountable for their crimes. Mass graves have reportedly been vandalized, covered in cement and even encroached under the pretense of widening a nearby road. http://bit.ly/2uqzdR3

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.