International Day of Enforced Disappearances

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons   (APDP) led by Parveena Ahangar on the occasion of International Day of Disappeared has appealed the international community to put pressure on New Delhi to stop violence against families and the victims of enforced disappearances.

International Day of Enforced DisappearancesIn a statement here a spokesman of the Association said: “This day is observed every year on August 30 throughout the world to commemorate the struggle against enforced disappearances.”

He said: “Families and relatives of the victims of enforced disappearances have been struggling for justice from past two decades. In most cases of Enforced Disappearances, investigations have either been fudged or not been done properly and probes have just been an eye wash. The families of the victims of enforced disappearances are not even made privy to all steps in the entire investigation process and therefore they remain ignorant about their rights and how their cases are processed. In cases of proceedings in military courts, where security forces are liable to be tried, the families can sit through the proceedings with the help of an entry pass, but no other information is provided thereafter and therefore most of the process remains shrouded in secrecy.”

“There has been a consistent denial on part of the detaining authorities of involvement in perpetrating these crimes apart from denial of sanction for prosecution of security forces by the State. There is also an unwillingness to begin a criminal investigation against forces which finds expression in denial to lodge an FIR – the first step in any criminal investigation. Not only this, the state and its agents and others have taken bribes from the families on the pretext of affording them meeting or interview with the detenue or assuring them their release, with no outcome. By beautifying erstwhile torture centers in Kashmir, the State has been trying to erase the signs and symbols of oppression perpetrated against the people of Kashmir. There has also been a deliberate attempt by the State to remove the bitter memories of Enforced Disappearances from the collective conscience of Kashmiris which forms the part of our collective memory. The state has also attempted to normalize the violence by offering people ex-gratia relief and employment under SRO-43, and by forcing them to sign affidavits that their kith and kin were not picked up by armed forces but by un-identified gunmen.”

“The right to justice flows through the right to know. Denying people information about the whereabouts of their loved ones and forcing them to sign fake affidavits regarding their custody is a gross violation of the right to know and has spawned a culture of impunity in Kashmir,” he said.

“The APDP reiterates its demand for ratification of the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances, to set up an independent judicial commission to conduct unbiased probe into the matter including DNA profiling where ever necessary,” the spokesman added.

Javed Mir stages sit-in:

A peaceful sit-in-protest was organized by APDP at Pratap Park here in which senior Hurriyat leaders including Javaid Ahmad Mir and Youth Awami Action Committee President Sofi Mushtaq Ahmad participated.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Javaid Ahmad Mir said besides 10,000 enforced disappearances, illegal detentions and other forms of human rights violations have become an order of the day in Kashmir. He said unknown, unmarked and mass graves still await investigation.

“In other countries across the world, Governments have set up Commissions to inquire into the phenomenon of disappearances. In Jammu and Kashmir, no such Commission has been set up, and instead the strategy has been to ignore or seek to discredit claims of disappearance,” Javaid Mir added.

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