Daily World News Digest, 5 April 2017

Malaysia urged to investigate deaths at immigration detention centers

The Asian Correspondent reported yesterday that an international human rights watchdog has called on the Malaysian government to investigate the “completely inexcusable” deaths of over 100 detainees in recent years, including Bangladeshi migrants and members of the Burmese Rohingya community held in its immigration centers. The group, Fortify Rights, noted that 118 foreigners died in Malaysia’s immigration detention centers in 2015 and 2016. http://bit.ly/2n8PNpr

UN finds 13 more mass graves in DR Congo’s Kasai region

The BBC carried a story yesterday noting that the UN has found 13 mass graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s central Kasai province since the beginning of March. This brings the number of mass graves discovered since last August to 23. The UN estimates that over 400 people, including women and children, have been killed in clashes between the army and the Kamwina Nsapu rebel group, which began after a regional chief was killed. Both sides have been accused of committing human rights violations. http://bbc.in/2oYTzhp

Thailand: the army and extrajudicial killings

The Bangkok Post today cites several cases of extrajudicial killings in Thailand, which it associates with the present government’s decision to grant police powers to the army. It notes that on 17 March, Chaiyapoom Pasae, a young activist from the Lahu hill tribe, was killed by a soldier at a checkpoint in Chiang Mai’s Chiang Dao district. This followed the earlier, almost identical killing of Abea Sea-moo from the Lisu hill tribe, on 15 February in the same district. The article states that “providing the military with police powers has unfortunately transformed soldiers primarily trained to kill to defend the state from external attack into police officers, maintaining internal law and order. Moreover, deputized military acting in good faith will not face disciplinary measures, encouraging a culture of impunity.” http://bit.ly/2oGQYtt

Gambia: mass grave found, associated with 2014 attempted coup

The Nigerian Bulletin reported yesterday that the authorities in Gambia have discovered a mass grave at a military site, Foni Kanilai, in the hometown of exiled ruler Yahya Jammeh. It says the bodies include that of a US National Guard captain, Njaga Jagne, who was killed during an attempt to overthrow Jammeh in December 2014. A conclusive forensic report is yet to be issued to confirm the identity of the bodies. Jammeh is currently seeking refuge in Equatorial Guinea. http://bit.ly/2nCC1qE

Continuing extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh

Deutsche Welle reported yesterday on UN concern over the “high rate” of extrajudicial killings committed by security forces in Bangladesh. Experts say political motives are behind the recent surge in such killings. On 30 March, the body of Nurul Alam Nuru, a leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was found in the river Karnaphuli in the city of Chittagong. Nuru is considered as one of the latest victims of extrajudicial killings committed by security forces. In the first three months of this year, at least 44 people were killed in “shootouts” with police and the Rapid Action Battalion. http://bit.ly/2o0qswQ

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.