Daily World News Digest, 6 November 2017

Egypt: lawyer combating enforced disappearance arrested

Egypt has summoned the ambassadors of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands after they criticized the arrest of an Egyptian human rights lawyer opposed to enforced disappearances. Ibrahim Metwally was detained in September. Metwally, who founded the Association for the Families of the Disappeared, provided legal assistance to the family of Italian student Giulio Regeni, whose tortured body was discovered in Cairo in February 2016. Metwally was detained on suspicion of “dealing with foreign parties” and “spreading false news”. He was also accused of having set up an “illegal” group. http://bit.ly/2y7dYWC

Philippines: Catholic bishops call for end to extrajudicial killings

Catholic bishops in the Philippines have called for an end to killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. The killing of three teenagers in August triggered public protests against Mr. Duterte’s campaign, with rights groups accusing him of committing crimes against humanity in a crackdown that has claimed thousands of lives. The Catholic Church, which counts 80 percent of Filipinos as followers, has been one of the leading critics of the war on drugs and has launched campaigns to stop the killings. On Sunday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines organized a Mass at Our Lady of Edsa Shrine and a procession to the People Power Monument. http://bit.ly/2yySAhm

 Myanmar’s lost Rohingya children

Close to one million Rohingya are now living in refugee camps outside the Bangladeshi port of Cox’s Bazar. More than half of those who have fled Myanmar are children, of whom 40,000 are believed to be without at least one parent. Many may never find their relatives. While many of the orphaned and separated children have been taken in by neighbors or relatives, others arrived in Bangladesh alone. With so many undocumented children living without their parents, aid workers have raised concerns over what they say is a high risk of trafficking. Lisa Akero of the International Federation of the Red Cross points to “the already known prevalence of trafficking in Bangladesh and also in Myanmar,” and says the risk is high because so many people are not registered and have no identification. There have been at least two confirmed cases of people trying to buy Rohingya children, one of them seven years old, Akero says. http://bit.ly/2h8BPP3

Bosnia: victims found at wartime massacre site

Balkan Insight has published an in-depth feature on the exhumation of bodies from the Koricani Cliffs, the site of the massacre of some 200 Bosniak and Bosnian Croat men in August 1992. The men had previously been held at detention camps in the Prijedor area in northwest Bosnia. Last month, Bosnia’s Missing Persons Institute announced that it had found the remains of 137 victims, including 86 skulls, at a recently-uncovered mass grave in the area. The bones are now awaiting DNA analysis. http://bit.ly/2zarEkU

 Kashmiri activists awarded Rafto Prize

Kashmiri human rights activists Parveena Ahangar and Parvez Imroz have been presented with the Professor Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize for human rights at a ceremony in Bergen, Norway. Parveena Ahangar became an activist after her 17-year-old son was abducted by Indian security forces in 1991. She is the founder and chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, which organizes peaceful protests and provides assistance to the survivors of violence in Indian-held Kashmir. Lawyer Parvez Imroz’s organization, the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, works for human rights and non-violent solutions to the Kashmir issue. http://bit.ly/2hfTqZ1

Canada: new app to help families of missing

An app has been developed to provide support and resources for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The “Taken Knowledge Keeper” app allows users to create an album with details about their loved one, and to help conduct a search if a loved one goes missing, and it provides a missing-person action plan toolkit. The interactive app was developed in tandem with the true-crime TV series Taken, which examines cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. http://bit.ly/2zlbdVg

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.