Daily World News Digest, 7 April 2016

Italy to start underwater recovery of «at least 400» migrant bodies

Europe Online Magazine reported today that Italy will start the underwater recovery of bodies from a shipwreck off Libya on the one-year anniversary of what is considered the worst ever Mediterranean migration accident, an Interior Ministry official. Prefect Vittorio Piscitelli, a special envoy for missing persons, said the Italian Navy believes that “at least 400” victims will be found inside the hold of the vessel, which lies about 157km northeast of the Libyan coast, 375m below sea level. Piscitelli said the navy, or Marina Militare, was going to lift up the vessel, cover it up and refrigerate it to conserve the bodies, and tow it to the Sicilian NATO naval base of Melilli, where forensic teams will work on identifying the bodies. In the immediate aftermath of the shipwreck on 18 April, 2015, rescue teams found 24 bodies and 28 survivors.  http://bit.ly/1oEqqYi

Mass graves discovered in southern Rwanda

KT Press from Rwanda reported today that what began as a fight between a husband and a wife triggered a shocking revelation of a long held secret about a mass grave with 25 victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi which claimed a million lives. The land belongs to Utabazi Casien currently serving a prison sentence in Mpanga prison over genocide crimes. The family has been cultivating land where the mass grave is located but had agreed to keep this a secret. The process to bury the bodies in dignity is on-going. Gisagara district is home to Theodore Sindikubwabo, former head of the state and a crucial figure in the genocide. The district is one of the areas that experienced a large and brutal killings. http://bit.ly/1RQCJZV

Coup authorities persist in political opponent abduction, forced disappearance policy

Ikhwan Web, a news portal from Egypt, carried a story on 6 April saying that the Arab Organization for Human Rights filed a report to Egyptian authorities about security agencies subjecting a citizen called Ali Mohamed Ahmed Al-Badri, a student at the Faculty of Engineering – Cairo University born in 1995, to enforced disappearance and torture, after he was arrested on Saturday. On that Saturday, security forces in civilian clothes and official uniforms arrested Badri from his residence in Warraq (Giza) at dawn, without presenting proper public prosecutor documents. Security forces then took him to an unknown location. http://bit.ly/1UYcXZP

Syrian refugee routes halted as pressure mounts in Turkey

Voice of America carried a story on 6 April saying that last year, Izmir, Turkey, was teeming with smugglers leaning over card tables, brokering deals with refugees. But after the EU-Turkey plan to reduce migrant flows to Europe went into effect last month, the rubber-boat business here has nearly ground to a halt. “The people who are planning to travel to Europe these days are in hiding,” Haesam, a Syrian refugee said. “They are afraid smugglers will convince them of new routes to Europe and then ship them to refugee camps.” And the tens of thousands of people who were blocked from crossing into Turkey from Syria earlier this year have not simply gone home, he adds. http://bit.ly/1Sd0Tgg

Human Rights Watch calls for release of Yezidi women

ARA News reported today that the extremist armed group of Islamic State (ISIS) should urgently release Yezidi women and girls abducted since 2014, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday. According to statistics, at least 1,800 Yezidi women and girls are still in ISIS-hands. The UN has cited allegations, based on Yezidi officials’ estimates that as many as 3,500 people remained in ISIS captivity as of October 2015.  In August 2014, ISIS extremists had taken control of the Yezidi Shingal district in northern Iraq. Tens of thousands of Yezidi Kurds remained trapped in Mount Sinjar, suffering mass killings, kidnappings and rape at the hands of ISIS militants. http://bit.ly/1WeeolY

Nepal: Victims want security and confidentiality from transitional justice bodies

The Kathmandu Post reported today that Conflict Victims Common Platform (CVCP), an alliance of 17 organizations representing the victims who suffered at the hand of rebels and the state during a decade-long insurgency, have asked the transitional justice bodies to be extra cautious regarding confidentiality, safety as well as emotional aspects of individuals who want to register their complaints. Addressing an orientation class conducted for secretaries of Local Peace Committees (LPCs) in Kathmandu on Wednesday, CVCP Chairman Suman Adhikari said registering the cases should not be considered a technical task. http://bit.ly/1YfSOMk

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.