Daily World News Digest, 30 October 2017

Pakistan: enforced disappearances in Sindh Province

Data collected by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan states that 110 nationalist activists as well as human rights defenders in Sindh Province disappeared in the first eight months of 2017. In 2016, the number of such disappearances was six. Sindh Human Rights Defenders (SHRD), a volunteer organization campaigning for the recovery of the disappeared, puts the number of people who have gone missing in the province this year at 123 — only nine of whom have returned home. Though such incidents have been taking place for years, their frequency has increased dramatically in the last few months, according to the SHRD. http://bit.ly/2zQcKQ7

Police in Malaysia “too slow” in responding to disappearance

The former inspector-general of police in Malaysia, Khalid Abu Bakar, has admitted that police were slow and should have acted more quickly in investigating the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh. Khalid was questioned on day three of the public inquiry into the disappearance of Koh and three others by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam). The inquiry will consider, among other things, whether the cases of Koh, Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth, were cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. http://bit.ly/2zhmfvr

Philippines: Government inquiry “won’t probe drug killings”

The Inter-Agency Committee on Extra Judicial Killings (IAC), formed under former President Benigno Aquino, will not investigate killings of drug suspects, the Department of Justice has announced. It said the IAC’s mandate is to investigate killings related to “political, environmental, agrarian, labor or other similar causes” and killings of journalists. “The IAC has not taken cognizance of the reported extrajudicial killings of drug users and pushers as this matter does not fall under its mandate,” a DOJ statement said. The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has been criticized before the UN Human Rights Council for not investigating thousands of killings of drug suspects either in police operations or gangland-style street executions. http://bit.ly/2hlVA68

Irish historian who found mass grave recognized

Catherine Corless, the historian, who discovered that the bodies of infants and young children had been bufried in a mass grave at a home for Children and Unwed mothers in the town of Tiam in the West of Ireland has received the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Award. The Tuam Home closed in the 70s and the ground covering the mass grave was used as a sports field. Corless investigated the area after local boys found bones when they were playing football. She was sceptical when told the bones were probably those of victims of the 19th century Famine. http://bit.ly/2z1hgOx

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.