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On Disappearances, UN Doesn't Address Nigeria Girls, Silent on US & ISIS

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 23 -- The case of 43 students missing in Guerrero state in Mexico was raised at the UN by Ariel Dulitzky, Chair of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and Mr. Emmanuel Decaux, Chair of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances at a press conference on October 23.

  But they did not mention the more than 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Chibok.

Inner City Press asked why the Chibok girls were not mentioned by the Working Group or Committee, and about the US government process on the Americans kidnapped and then beheaded by Islamic State, ISIS or Da'esh.

Dulitzky said that his jurisdiction requires state involvement in the disappearance, while both cases Inner City Press raised involved non-state actors. Decaux added that these restrictions are frustrating, that to the victims and their families there is no difference.

Neither directly addressed the US government telling families of the disappeared to stay quiet, for example.

Inner City Press followed up by asking how the Working Group knew, early on, of government involvement in the disappearances in Guerrero, now attributed by the Mexican attorney general to the Mayor and his wife. Dulitzky said before his statement, there was evidence of the involvement of municipal authorities. But what is the standard, the quantum of such proof, needed to get the UN Working Group involved?

Decaux said while Nigeria is a state party, the people there must not have heard of it because he has received no complaints or appeals.

The first question was set-aside for the old UN Correspondents Association, which asked a softball question merely repeating what the panelists had already said about Syria (102 complaints) and DPRK / North Korea -- only 47 complaints, nearly all about citizens of Japan and South Korea. The new Free UN Coalition for Access objects to set-asides, especially when as here other journalists had their questions all bunched together, and to the UN's Censorship Alliance. We'll have more on this.


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