Daily World News Digest 29 January 2015

Mexico: Missing students are dead, but many questions remain

The Christian Science Monitor reports today on the reaction of families of the missing to Tuesday’s announcement by the Mexican authorities that all 43 students who disappeared in the southern town of Iguala in September are dead. It notes that the government statement came just one day before the one-year anniversary of the launch of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s anti-kidnapping strategy. The citizen group Stop Kidnapping, part of a government oversight panel on kidnapping, announced on Tuesday that Mexico saw a 30 percent increase in kidnapping cases between 2013 (2,166 cases) and 2014 (2,818 cases). Government figures put the number of kidnappings in Mexico in 2013 at 1,698, and in 2014 at 1,394 – a decrease of about 18 percent. http://bit.ly/1JLGhtP

Mexican President tells nation to ‘move on’ from 43 students

On 28 January Telesurtv.net reported Mexican President Peña Nieto’s statement on Tuesday, in which he called on Mexicans “to move forward with greater optimism,” and not to get “caught up” in the enforced disappearance of the 43 students from Iguala.  The president was speaking after Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said the investigation into the matter is closed. In the absence of conclusive DNA evidence, the families of the missing are demanding that investigations into the mass disappearance continue.  http://bit.ly/1uE4z08

Libya: spiralling war crimes in Benghazi

Amnesty International issued a report on 28 January calling for targeted UN sanctions and accountability, including through the International Criminal Court, to end rampant abductions, torture, summary killings and other abuses by rival forces in Libya, some of which, it said, amount to war crimes.  Benghazi’s descent into chaos: abductions, summary killings and other abuses sheds light on a series of abuses carried out by rival factions since May 2014. More than 260 people – civilians and fighters – went missing in Benghazi between June and November 2014 according to the Libyan Red Crescent Society. http://bit.ly/1CvR7le

DR Congo authorities urged to release rights activist

On 27 January Human Rights Watch called on the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to account for the whereabouts of activist Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba and free him if he has been detained unlawfully or for political reasons. A senior intelligence official told Human Rights Watch on 26 January that Ngoyi was in the custody of Congo’s national intelligence agency, but authorities have not revealed where he is being detained or allowed him access to his family or a lawyer. Ngoyi, 55, the president of the human rights organization Synergie Congo Culture et Développement (Congo Culture and Development Synergy), was abducted from a bar in Kinshasha by several men, some wearing military uniforms, on the evening of 21 January. http://bit.ly/1BjMZAT

Indonesian President Widodo’s first 100 days disappoint rights activists

The International Federation of Human Rights Organizations (FIDH) issued a statement today arguing that “Indonesian President Joko Widodo has regrettably failed to live up to his human rights campaign pledges during his first 100 days in office.“ The FIDH statement said the president has failed to initiate any investigation into allegations of serious human rights abuses committed by the military and law enforcement agencies in the recent past. On 22 January 2015, Attorney General HM Prasetyo, appointed by President Widodo, suggested that the government would not prosecute those responsible for past human rights violations. http://bit.ly/1EQrpHM

Pakistan party announces strike over worker’s killing

Pakistan’s Dunya news agency reports today that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a political party popular among Urdu speakers especially in Karachi, has called for a day of mourning today after one of its workers, Sohail Ahmed, was found dead. MQM spokesperson Izhar-ul-Hassan more than 35 party activists had been victims of extrajudicial killings. http://bit.ly/1Hi0bPb

Nepal asked to redress teen’s murder case

The Nepalese news portal Ekantipur.com reported on 29 January that the United Nations Human Rights Committee has asked the government of Nepal to provide redress for the extrajudicial killing of a 17-year-old schoolgirl during Nepal’s ten-year civil conflict. In its ruling made public this week, the UN committee, which monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nepal is a signatory, said that Nepal should conduct an “effective and complete investigation of the facts”, prosecute and punish the guilty and provide full reparation. This is the 8th such verdict the UN body has issued in war-era cases from Nepal. http://bit.ly/1ER3po1

Dagestan conflict overshadowed by events elsewhere

Moscow Times carried a story on 28 January about the massive human and material damage caused by the conflict in Dagestan between Islamist rebels and government forces. It points out that the long-running conflict in the northern Caucuses has attracted very little international attention, despite a tide of destruction, looting, enforced disappearance and murder. http://bit.ly/1K9fOVq

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.