Daily World News Digest, 7 December 2016

Migrant crisis: Europol to investigate Egypt mass drowning

BBC News reported yesterday that the European policing agency Europol is planning to investigate what is believed to be the biggest loss of a migrant boat in 2016, following a Reuters-BBC Newsnight investigation. More than 500 people are thought to have died in the sinking on 9 April, but there has been no official inquiry. Newsnight has established that the boat set sail from Egypt – not Libya, as UNHCR stated at the time. The UN estimates that 4,663 people have died this year attempting to cross the Mediterranean, making it the most deadly year on record. But the shipwrecks are frequently not investigated. http://bbc.in/2g5Ucks     

Dozens of Rohingya Muslims missing as boat sinks off Bangladesh

The Tehran Times reported yesterday that dozens have been reported missing, feared drowned, after a boat packed with Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar and trying to reach Bangladesh sank in a border river. A Bangladeshi fisherman told AFP that he had rescued on Monday one woman, who told him that the “overcrowded” boat had sunk in the Naf river, after it was chased by a Myanmar army speedboat. The woman did not know what had happened to the others. But the private UNB news agency, quoting a Bangladeshi village councilor, said there were at least 31 Rohingya on board. http://bit.ly/2g9hHhs

 Families waiting for identification

The Independent publishes an article today on thousands of families who are still waiting for news of missing loved ones, 25 years after the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The piece by Ed Vulliamy, which has appeared in several publications this week, describes the effort spearheaded by the International Commission on Missing Persons to account for the missing, and examines in detail the experience of families who have lived for a generation with the agony of not knowing the fate of a loved one. http://ind.pn/2h0zSTo   

Bosnian police arrest eight Serbs for 1992 mass killing

Reuters carried an article yesterday about the arrest last Tuesday of eight Bosnian Serbs suspected of killing around 120 Bosniak and Croat men and boys in northwest Bosnia at the start of the 1992-95 war. The operation was carried out on the orders of the state war crimes prosecutor, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The men are suspected of crimes against humanity committed during a wide and systematic attack by Serb army, police and paramilitary units in the Prijedor region, it added. “The group are believed to have illegally detained 120 men, including 15 boys, in the village of Miska Glava, and taken them to a nearby cultural center and a stadium where they were tortured and abused for three days,” the statement read. http://reut.rs/2hfUV7L

Bill to improve DNA testing and forensic technology passed at the US Senate

Augusta FreePress, a local news agency from the US, published an article yesterday on a unanimous Senate vote to reauthorize Justice Department programs to support cutting-edge DNA testing and forensic technology. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016, which originally passed the Senate last June, has been approved by the House of Representatives and is now headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The Act reauthorizes programs which have not been updated or strengthened in twelve years, since passage of the original legislation in 2004. There have been dramatic changes in forensic technology and DNA testing practices since that time. http://bit.ly/2h1Mk5g    

High number of missing kids in Ontario to be “unacceptable”

CBC news published an article yesterday on missing children in Kenora, Ontario. A provincial police officer of this city says more needs to be done to help at-risk kids in his community, in light of the high number reported missing each year. In a city with about 15,000 people, Kenora police dealt with close to 900 calls about missing persons last year. The vast majority of those calls were about children. http://bit.ly/2hgXulU


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.