Tag Archives: Enforced Disaapearance

[Press Release] HR violations victims’ kin: No to candidates with bloody hands -CAED/ Anti-EJK Network

Photo by Michael Non

United by the common pain of loss and injustice, families of victims of involuntary disappearance were joined by the families of victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) on Holy Wednesday to intensify their call for justice, which for years has eluded them.

An annual event of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), the Kalbaryo ng Kawalan ng Katarungan for the past years had always highlighted the cross the families bear. This year, according to Nilda Sevilla, Co-chairperson of FIND, the event showed their strength and unity as more families of the disappeared and EJK victims are coming out in the open to become staunch human rights defenders (HRDs).

Forming a human chain in front of the Centris Mall along EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, they emphasized the significance of the May 13 national elections in their fight for justice. “Let us ensure that no perpetrator of human rights violations and supporters of Duterte’s brutal drug war will be voted into office. Do not vote for candidates who have blood on their hands,” Ellecer Carlos, spokesperson of iDEFEND and son of a surfaced desaparecido said.

“As human rights violations against the poor and critics of this administration escalate, it is crucial that we elect candidates who, based on their track record, will prioritize all human rights for all,” Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) Executive Director Emmanuel Amistad stressed.

Meanwhile, Senator Leila de Lima, in a statement read during the event, urged the families of victims not to lose hope. “Like you, I am also a victim of injustice but I believe that one day through our persistence and collective action, justice will be served.”

The opposition lawmaker has been detained for more than two years now in Camp Crame on what her supporters describe as trumped-up illegal drugs charges meant to silence her criticisms against EJKs and the war on drugs.

As they come together, the families demand that government: conduct prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of the killings and disappearances even prior to the filing of formal complaints; ensure accountability of perpetrators; strengthen the rights against enforced disappearance and EJKs; grant reparation to all victims of human rights violations; enact the human rights defenders protection law; and address the roots of insurgency and illegal drugs.

“We have no illusions that these demands will be fulfilled by the same people who snatched our loved ones from us. Our vote on May 13 will be a protest vote against impunity and injustice,” Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso, Secretary General of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) said.

Elaborating on the political character of the families’ Lenten call, Sevilla reminded the gathering that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a violent act of the State. “The struggle for political power underlay King Herod’s plot to eliminate Jesus Christ whom he tagged as a subversive – a threat to his enduring reign,” she pointed out.

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[Event] “Walang Paalam” showing -AFAD

Vote for this event for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ Choice Awards

Walang Paalam AFADEnforced Disappearance is a continuing human rights violation in the Philippines. Watch “Walang Paalam” and find out more about this phenomenon on February 26, 6pm, at the UP Film Center.

Admission is free.

www.facebook.com/afad.online2

AFAD

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[Statement] Continuing Struggle for Endless Remembering -AFAD

Continuing Struggle for Endless Remembering

Photo by AFAD

Photo by AFAD

All Souls’ Day is a time to remember and pay our respects to our dearly departed loved ones by visiting their graves, lighting up candles on their tombs, offering them flowers and prayers and above all, reflecting on their memories.

AFAD

For the families whose loved ones were made to disappear by their own governments, remembering the disappeared is a painful and torturous ordeal. They have no graves to visit, no tombs to light candles and no place to offer flowers. Even silence is an elusive desire to pray as the cry of their disappeared loved ones for truth and justice occupies their memories.

Until now, hundreds of thousands of families around the world are in the eternal search for answers and endless grief to find closure. They are continuously tormented by the fact that as time passes by, they remain uncertain of the fate and whereabouts of their dear desaparecidos. They are being deprived by their own governments of their right to know the truth and to obtain justice. They are forever placed in limbo of hope and despair without knowing when to mourn and to start moving on.

Enforced disappearance is undeniably one of the cruelest forms of human rights violations. It is not only an affront to the person’s basic rights and fundamental freedom but also a trample on the human dignity of the disappeared and of his or her family. It is a tragedy hovering everywhere. Based on the 2012 report of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID), enforced disappearance is occuring in 84 countries around the world. It is most prevalent in the Asian region, a continent where there is no strong regional mechanisms for protection and redress.

In many Asian countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand and Timor Leste, enforced disappearance is brazenly practiced with absolute impunity. It is commonly utilized as a repressive tool to stifle dissent and silence opposition. It is also carried out by foreign states against citizens of other countries in order to pursue their interest in long standing territorial disputes like what North Korea is doing to South Korean people.

Enforced disappearance does not only destroy the lives it touches; it sows paralyzing fear in society. Those who found courage to stand for their rights have to face the consequence of political persecution and deadly hostilities by governments against human rights defenders like what Adil Rahman, president of Odhikar in Bangladesh and Parvez Imroz, patron of the Association of Parents of the disappeared Persons in Kashmir, India have to undergo.

But despite difficulties, many families found strength in their unity and solidarity. Their spirited and vigorous efforts made possible not only the recognition of this global concern but the need for a global response. Thus, the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 2006 the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance aimed at combating the crime of enforced disappearance by establishing the truth, punishing the perpetrators and providing reparation, guaranteeing the historical memory of victims and ensuring non-repetition. To date, 93 states have already signed and 40 have ratified this very important international human rights treaty.

Today, in the observance of All Souls’ Day, the Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) joins hands with all the families of the disappeared and human rights advocates in Asia and around the world in remembering and honoring all the Desaparecidos. They may not have graves to visits, tomb to light candles and to offer flowers but they will forever dwell in our hearts and minds. On this day, we renew our lifetime commitment to continue the journey towards a world without disappearances and injustices.

Every desaparecido deserves an endless remembering by their loved ones.

Signed:

MUGIYANTO
Chairperson

and

MARY AILEEN D. BACALSO
Secretary-General

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
Rms. 310-311 Philippine Social Science Center Bldg.,
Commonwealth Ave., Diliman, 1103 Quezon City

Telefax: 00-632-4546759
Mobile: (63)917-792-4058
Website: http://www.afad-online.org

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Events] International Week of the Disappeared

In observance of the International Week of the Disappeared 29 May – 04 June 2011

The Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)
and the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)

cordially invite you

to a motorcade and a prayer rally

on 29 May 2011, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am
at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, Elliptical Road, Quezon City

and to a

truth-telling conference

on 31 May 2011, from 9:00 am to 12:00 nn
at the Minority Conference Room, North Wing Basement, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City