Daily World News Digest, 9 April 2018

Olympic Committee urged not to ignore North Korean rights violations

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reported to have phoned Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, asking that he “bear in mind the feelings of the Japanese people,” following a three-day visit by Mr Bach to North Korea during which he had talks with Kim Jong Un. Tokyo has consistently called on Pyongyang to provide details on as many as 100 Japanese nationals, who were abducted by North Korean agents to train future generations of spies. The North in 2002 admitted abducting 13 Japanese, permitted five to return to Japan and claimed the rest had died of illness or in accidents. North Korean media highlighted the cordial tone of the meeting between Mr Bach and Mr Kim. https://bit.ly/2qh6i2i

ICMP continues to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina

Completing its transition to the Netherlands, the International Commission on Missing Persons’ (ICMP) DNA laboratory has been fully functional since March. Although the BIH Council of Ministers has expressed concerns that biological samples of BIH citizens could be at risk by moving the laboratory to The Hague, ICMP explains that it will continue to protect personal data to the highest international standards. ICMP’s regional office in the Western Balkans will continue to store biological samples from the region and provide other types of technical assistance in identifying missing persons in BIH. (Article in B/C/S) https://bit.ly/2Iv4c5G

Colombia: new report on extrajudicial killings

A report compiled by a former Colombian police colonel and a historian argues that security forces executed approximately 10,000 civilians in the period between 2002 and 2010. This would mean that the majority of the 16,724 “combat kills” reported by the military in this period were civilians, and not guerrillas. Hundreds of soldiers accused of committing the executions are waiting to be tried under Colombia’s new transitional justice system. https://bit.ly/2H7AZR6

Pakistan: demonstration against enforced disappearances Peshawar

Tens of thousands of Pashtuns gathered in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar on Sunday calling for the removal of military checkpoints in tribal areas and an end to enforced disappearances, in which suspects are detained by security forces without due process. https://bit.ly/2H4iNYF

Singapore World War Two mass grave

Channel News Asia carries a story about the discovery of a mass grave in 1962 containing the remains of victims of Operation Sook Ching, a purge of suspected Chinese opponents of the Japanese occupation. Suspects were apprehended and executed at remote locations across the island. After the discovery of the grave, more than 50 people worked for more than a year to exhume the bones, which were then cleaned and placed in funeral jars. The exhumations produced 681 jars of bones. The remains were placed in Singapore’s Civilian War Memorial in January 1967. https://bit.ly/2GJzBox

Items in the 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.