Every last week of May, the international community, especially the associations of families of the disappeared, commemorate the International Week of the Disappeared (IWD). Accordingly Odhikar is observing the IWD from 27 May – June 2, 2012. During this week Odhikar condemns the failure of the government of Bangladesh to protect the citizens from enforced disappearance and extends solidarity to the families of the victim.
The IWD was initiated by the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (FEDEFAM), during its founding Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1981. Over the past thirty years this event has inspired many organisations world-wide to fight enforced disappearances.
To commemorate the International Week of the Disappeared, Odhikar organised a three-day workshop from 26 – 28 May 2012, with its grassroot level human rights defenders to discuss the consequences of enforced disappearances. The participants at the meeting also discussed the necessity of the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Such a heinous crime is recognised a crime against humanity. Odhikar has also conducted media advocacy to accelerate the accession to the Convention of Enforced Disappearance.
According to Odhikar’s documentation, 63 persons were allegedly disappeared since 2009. Enforced disappearance is extremely alarming because it violates the human rights of both the disappeared person and their family. It does not recognise the victim as a person. It strips a disappeared person of the right to be protected by the law, which is recognised under Article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 31 and 32 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
Odhikar expresses its solidarity with all victims of enforced disappearance and their families and also demands justice for them.
Odhikar urges the Government of Bangladesh to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance NOW!
Adilur Rahman Khan