Daily World News Digest, 9 November 2016

Iraq: remains in mass grave near Mosul identified

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Iraqi authorities on Tuesday began to identify bodies discovered in a mass grave in a village southeast of Mosul, as the United Nations said Islamic State militants had forced 1,500 families to retreat with them from the village into the city. Iraqi authorities said the remains of some 100 decapitated bodies found Monday by Iraqi troops as they advanced into Islamic State-held territory were likely those of members of Iraq’s security forces and their family members. The government dispatched a forensic team to the site, near an agricultural school in the Hamam al-Ali district about 30 miles from Mosul. The UN said last month that ISIS had executed 50 former police officers in the facility. http://on.wsj.com/2fwnGJS

Kenya Minister denies claims of killings and disappearances

The Daily Nation, a newspaper from Kenya, carried an article yesterday about Deputy President William Ruto who has denied claims of participating in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and corrupt land deals. While responding to allegations raised by photojournalist-cum-activist Boniface Mwangi in a defamation suit, the Deputy President demanded evidence that would support the accusations. “The DP denies that he has a leadership role in the design and implementation of a policy of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances,” said his lawyer, Mr Kioko Kilukumi. In filed case documents, the Deputy President insists that the International Criminal Court did not find him guilty of having committed any offence. http://bit.ly/2fRPlIY

Mexico: Disgraced Veracruz governor escapes

El Pais reported yesterday that in the latest embarrassment to Mexico’s embattled President Enrique Peña, it has been revealed that Javier Duarte, the disgraced former governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz wanted by Interpol and the Mexican authorities in relation to embezzlement and money laundering accusations during his time in office, fled justice on 15 October in a government helicopter facilitated by his successor. Corruption scandals, hundreds of bodies found in mass graves, human right violations, thousands of disappeared people and hundreds of killings of women have marked Duarte’s time in office, an official once named by Peña Nieto as a member of a new generation of politicians who were going to change Mexico. http://bit.ly/2eCAQmt  

Bangladesh: “300 enforced disappearance since 2009”

New Age Bangladesh reported on 7 November that over 300 people have been victims of enforced disappearance by law-enforcement agencies in Bangladesh since January 2009 and the government is refusing to acknowledge responsibility, according to a statement issued on Sunday by the Hong-Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission. “The Bangladesh government and its law-enforcement agencies have been shamelessly denying their involvement in enforced disappearances despite over 300 people having been disappeared by Bangladesh law-enforcement agencies since January 2009,” the statement reads. http://bit.ly/2eTERnB     

Another victim of enforced disappearance in Bahrain

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) reported on 7 November that Sayed Alawi Hussain Alawi had been forcibly disappeared for two weeks following his arrest at the hands of Bahraini security forces. The BCHR condemned what it described as the ongoing practice of enforced disappearance of detainees in Bahrain. Sayed Alawi Hussain Alawi, 43 years old, a resident of Duraz, disappeared on 24 October 2016, around 4pm. His family told the BCHR that they received the last call from him at around 3pm when he told them he was going to be late due to his workload. However, they were not able to reach him on the phone later as his phone had been switched off. He didn’t return home, and his family searched for him at hospitals without luck, then filed a missing person report at the Budaiya police station. Later that day, the police station called the family to inform them that Alawi was being detained at the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), and asked the family to cancel the missing report. On 25 October, Alawi’s family filed a complaint with the Ombudsman for arbitrary and illegal arrest, as no arrest warrant was produced. http://bit.ly/2ew1aP0       

War crimes arrests cast shadow over Orasje

Balkan Insight reports today that the recent arrests of ten former Bosnian Croat fighters from Orasje have sparked protests, but they have also revived bitter memories for a couple who are still seeking justice for the rape and torture they suffered during wartime. “I just want him to answer before the court,” Marko Benkovic, a 52-year-old Croat from the northeastern Bosnian town of Orasje, told BIRN. “And nothing more.” The person Benkovic is referring to is the wartime commander of the Bosnian Croatian Defence Council, HVO military police in Orasje, Pero Vincetic, alias ‘Horse’. Orasje has been in the headlines since the arrests of ten former HVO fighters on 31 October 31 on suspicion of committing crimes against Serbs from April 1992 to July 1993 in the town. The arrests caused a furious political backlash among Bosnian Croats and officials in Zagreb, who insisted that the HVO only fought a defensive struggle during the Bosnian war. http://bit.ly/2feVfls

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.