Daily World News Digest, 6 February 2017

UN condemns abuse against Rohingya in Myanmar 

Global News reported on 4 February that a UN report released Friday states that thousands of Rohingya children, women, and men have suffered gang rape, killings, beatings, disappearances and other acts of cruelty at the hands of Myanmar’s police and security forces. “Things like this have been happening throughout,” Ilona Alexander, a member of the UN investigating mission, said at a news conference. “But from what we have gathered, the (recent) level is unprecedented.” The report, issued by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, documents testimony from 204 women and men who are among 66,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State since Oct. 9. http://bit.ly/2jTqNMr

Kashmir residents protest against human right violations

International Business Times reported yesterday that residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) held a protest in Islamabad on Sunday against alleged human right violations in the region by the country’s authorities. The protestors claimed that the Pakistani government is committing atrocities against innocent citizens through its intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and administration. Residents complain of unemployment and disappearances. Activist Baba Jan was recently detained along with many other youths who were demanding political rights and withdrawal of the Pakistani Army from the Gilgit-Baltistan region of PoK. http://bit.ly/2kJtsMD

Remains discovered in occupied Cyprus 

Tornos News reported on 4 February that a small number of remains were discovered several days ago during excavations in a field in the village of Angastina in the Famagusta district. The discovery has raised hopes of finding other missing persons by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) bicommunal team responsible for carrying out excavations since last November. Head of the team geologist Yiannis Ioannou, who has worked with the CMP since 2006, and archaeologist Mustafa Emre, who has worked with the CMP since 2011, stated that the findings indicate that four Greek Cypriots were buried in the area in addition to the three that were found four years ago. http://bit.ly/2lagqsR  

CIA executive linked to torture and disappearances in Thailand  

The Guardian reported on 3 February that the new deputy director of the CIA allegedly ran a “black site” prison in Thailand where suspects were waterboarded. Gina Haspel, selected by US President Donald Trump and appointed by CIA director Mike Pompeo on Thursday, reportedly had a leading role in the intelligence agency’s covert post-9/11 program in which simulated drowning and other painful interrogation techniques were used on detainees overseas. She briefly ran a black site in Thailand where suspected al-Qaida members Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were tortured in 2002, and Haspel later helped carry out an order that the CIA destroy its waterboarding videos, US officials told Reuters and Associated Press on condition of anonymity. http://bit.ly/2kqDwrD  

More than 400 New Zealanders still missing 

Stuff, a news portal from New Zealand, reports today that more than 400 people are recorded as missing in New Zealand according to police. Figures released under the Official Information Act show as of September 2016, some 439 Kiwis are recorded as missing.  Due to the growing number of missing persons, police have come under increasing scrutiny. Criticism has been levelled at police in the past for their handling of missing person’s cases. Ian Wills, whose mother Fiona Wills went missing from her property off the Napier-Taupo highway in December 2014, said police needed better training when it came to search and rescue. Wills said poor decision-making and a lack of training hampered efforts to find his mother immediately after she was reported missing. http://bit.ly/2kcZygN

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.