APDP Sunday said last week of May every year is recognized internationally as the International Week of the Disappeared.
APDP in its statement said this week provides an opportunity to remember the disappeared, and acknowledge the struggle of their families.
“It is also an occasion to recommit to the fundamental right not to be subjected to enforced disappearances, the right to know the truth and the right to justice and reparation. It is an occasion to continue to demand that governments sign, ratify and implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and criminalize the practice of enforced disappearances.”
APDP said today on eve of the International Week of the Disappeared, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons in association with Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) underlines that Indian State continues to remain in ‘denial’ of the ongoing international movement against enforced disappearances.
“Following the commission of widespread and systematic enforced disappearances of more than 8000 persons in Jammu and Kashmir, the government has chosen to protect itself and its own forces by disregarding the very existence of the crime itself. Concerning enforced disappearances, the government has not ensured an alternative independent investigative mechanism and has instead preferred to subject the victims to a system that continues to promote impunity,” APDP said, adding moreover, despite repeated recommendations from the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) for a comprehensive forensic investigation into 7000 unknown, unmarked and mass graves, found across various districts of Jammu and Kashmir, the government seems to be unwilling to initiate any such effective inquiry.
Despite a consistent campaign by the parents and relatives of disappeared persons, no action has been taken, APDP said in its statement, adding: “The government has failed to investigate enforced disappearances, bring the perpetrators to justice and provide reparations to the families.”
The government so far has been disinclined to set up a Commission of Inquiry which has been a recurrent demand of APDP, statement said, adding: “Due to the continued denial, the families of disappeared particularly half widows and their children continues to suffer endlessly.”
“Since the Indian government and governments of J&K have ignored the plight of two hundred thousand relatives of the disappeared people, therefore it is the responsibility of Indian civil society as well as international community to intervene and hold the government of India, a claimant for permanent seat in the UN Security Council, accountable for more than 8000 enforced disappearances and existence of 7000 unknown, unmarked and mass graves in J&K,’ statement said.
Statement added APDP together with IAPL would like to call upon the government of India to act as per principles of law and justice, enquire into all the cases of enforced disappearances, ensure speedy justice to victims and prosecute the perpetrators of enforced disappearances.
Statement added the association on the eve of the International week of disappeared once again pledges “to continue its struggle and commemoration of the disappeared loved ones until the truth is revealed and justice delivered”.