Daily World News Digest, 6 April 2016

Missing Persons Commission report to President in July

Daily News Sri Lanka reported today that the Commission on Missing Persons will hand over the report containing its recommendations to President Maithripala Sirisena in July this year, Commission secretary W.H. Gunadasa said. He said the Commission had recorded evidence from nearly 7,000 persons so far including people from Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Mannar districts. Commission members had visited Mannar and Vavuniya districts twice and the Mullaithivu district thrice to record evidence as needed. Former High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama is the Commission chairman. http://bit.ly/1MbQLbB

Refugee deportations to Turkey slowed over asylum paperwork, allegations of missing persons

Albawaba News reported on 5 April that there was a lull in deportations of refugees from Greek islands to Turkey on Tuesday, amid Greek denials that some migrants had gone missing. The return of refugees from Greece to Turkey in line with an EU-Turkey deal began on Monday; no people were transferred to Turkey today as asylum applications had to be processed first, the Greek authorities said. “Deportations will not take place every day” said a spokesman for Greece’s Coordinating Body for Refugee Crisis Management on Tuesday.“ In response to reports that some would-be immigrants had gone missing, the Coordinating Body tweeted that “No man ‘disappears’ in Greece, nor in Chios, nor anywhere else.” http://bit.ly/1qp7yhI

Athens DNA lab helps trace those lost at sea on Aegean crossing

UNHCR issued a statement on 5 April saying that Penelope Miniati, the new head of Greece’s criminology service, has,almost single-handedly, supervised the country’s DNA service from its inception. It is now a crucial link for thousands trying to trace children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters missing on the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece in the past year. “It is an obligation of our state and a mark of civilisation,” said Miniati, who was promoted last month from head of the DNA service to oversee the entire criminology service. Miniati set up the country’s first DNA lab in 1994 with two other women. http://bit.ly/1MQZzU7

Cyprus: Remains belonging to fifteen persons identified at Noratlas site

Famagusta Gazette carried a story on 5 April saying that Cyprus Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues Fotis Fotiou announced on Monday that the remains of 15 persons have been identified during excavations at the site where Greek warplane `Noratlas`, carrying commandos from Crete, was downed by friendly fire in July 1974 on the outskirts of Nicosia. He also said that the remains of two persons who were wrongly given to relatives of the Noratlas warplane have been returned. He told reporters that 15 persons have been identified and procedures are expected to be concluded within the next two weeks to allow for their repatriation and burial according to Cypriot customs and religion. http://bit.ly/1VuOTwb

The group that stood up to Egypt’s crackdown on human rights organizations

Los Angeles Times carried a story on 5 April saying that Egypt expanded its crackdown on human rights organizations Tuesday, raiding a center that treats victims of violence and attempting to shut it down. This time, however, the government backed down, retreating from the El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence after staff members refused to comply with orders to leave. A report issued by El Nadeem in January said that 474 people had died in police custody in 2015. Another report issued by the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms documented 340 cases of enforced disappearances between August and November. http://lat.ms/23ePgNV

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.