Daily World News Digest, 31 October 2016

Kenya: police accused of enforced disappearances

MediaMax, a news network from Kenya, reports today that Kenya National Human Rights Commission Vice Chair George Morara has said the agency will present a report to the National Assembly after investigating matters of extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrests and brutality by police officers and security forces in Kwale, the coastal district in southeast Kenya. Morara said many residents in the area are living “in fear and suspicion”. http://bit.ly/2epTnmQ 

Fear and suspicion haunt Sinjar

The Guardian carries an article today about the Yazidi community in Iraq, “which still feels ghostly and abandoned”. It says the lack of recovery and shattered trust in this community serve as “a bleak warning of challenges ahead for Mosul region”. Sinjar and the region around it in northern Iraq, a center for the minority Yazidi group and symbol of their suffering under Da’esh, was liberated nearly a year ago, the article notes, “but since then there has been little clearance, no rebuilding, and no formal investigation of the mass graves that have been found – although some are now marked by wire fence or tape. There has been no restoration of public services or call for refugees to return.” http://bit.ly/2eZwVUP 

UK PM urged to raise issue of disappearances in Kashmir

The Pakistan Observer reported yesterday that a memorandum has been submitted to UK Prime Minister Theresa May “highlighting the gross human rights violations committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.” The memorandum describes “rights abuses including over 8,000 mass killings, 11,000 known cases of molestation, rape, gang rape, over 10,000 enforced disappearances, over 1,000 people maimed and blinded by use of pellet guns deliberately aimed at upper body, the disproportionate use of force on protesting civilians, over 8000 mass graves, imprisonment of pro-freedom leaders, civilians and human rights activists”, according to the report. The memorandum asks Prime Minister May to raise the issue of human rights in Kashmir during her three-day visit to India beginning on 6 November. http://bit.ly/2eqdYXV 

Thailand lagging in human rights

The Bangkok Post reports today that this year’s World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index has ranked Thailand 64th out of 113 countries, “much lower than one would expect given the country’s high human development”. Though Thailand actually improved in rank from last year, it still needs to implement key legislation based on multiple international treaties it has ratified, including in the areas of labor rights, torture and disappearances, and racial discrimination, the Post says. “Without stronger rule of law, the social contract between the state and Thai citizens cannot be guaranteed. Under the rule of law, Thai governments must be accountable, with laws that are clear, fair, stable and publicised. The state must protect fundamental rights, including property and the security of persons.” http://bit.ly/2fvyOcL

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.