The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) In Memory of the Courage of the Chinese People Who Sacrificed Their Lives at Tiananmen Square
June 4, 2015 - In solidarity with all freedom-loving peoples of the world, we are peacefully fighting against repression and impunity. Humanity born to freedom is alert to repel invasion of liberty by power-hungry rulers.
The gruesome massacre, which the Chinese people calls the June Fourth Movement, or the June Fourth Massacre, or Liu-Si Tucheng is a blatant reminder that people cannot be forever prisoners of their own conscience in the struggle for truth, justice and freedom. The Tiananmen Square uprising conjures the image of a lone anonymous person or the Tank Man, who courageously stood before a column of tanks preventing their advance to further annihilate the dissidents.
Twenty-six years after the June 4th gruesome crackdown against protesters mainly led by university students and intellectuals at Tiananmen (literally means, Gate of Heavenly Peace) Square, basic human rights and freedoms are still obscured by state authoritarianism. In China, people caught talking about the macabre dispersal, are thrown into jail to suffer hard labor.
May 25-29, 2015
Every last week of May, we commemorate the International Week of the Disappeared (IWD), a painful reminder that thousands of families still await information on the fate of their loved ones who have disappeared and thousands of disappeared persons are waiting to be freed from the unknown prisons where they are kept. The IWD was incepted by the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Disappeared-Detainees (FEDEFAM), which, in turn, was adopted by families of the disappeared across the world.
The International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) and its 53 member-organisations campaign for the universal ratification and implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPED), the recognition of the competence of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the enactment of domestic laws criminalizing enforced disappearances. It is the most emblematic way to pay tribute to the disappeared and their families.
May 24 -30, 2015 - This week, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances and the rest of the global movement against enforced disappearances commemorate the International Week of the Disappeared. Around the world, family members, especially wives, mothers and daughters of victims of enforced disappearance have been trapped by the disappearance of their husbands, sons and brothers. They continue to be in a state of limbo, living with the haunting shadows of a cruel past. Families of the disappeared have been suffering from the social, psychological, legal, and economic effects of the disappearance of their loved ones.
Their unrelenting struggle for truth and justice has transformed them into courageous human rights defenders, propelled by the quest to stand up for their right to know the fate and whereabouts of their disappeared loved ones. Amidst pain, their courage and determination in the pursuit for truth and justice permit them to overcome the devastating consequences of enforced disappearance.
The authority of the Government emanates from the People. The world must be made safe and democracy is an important form of government that would make this possible. Its peace must be founded upon the three pillars of human dignity, justice and liberty. To make democracy work, we must be active participants to making it possible and not be mere spectators of the repression and impunity unfolding before us.
Today, 35 years ago on May 18th, a pivotal event unfolded in South Korea that has become an inspiration for democratic movements in Asia and the rest of the world. Hundreds died and many disappeared in that struggle for democracy long deprived to the people of South Korea after several years of dictatorship.
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) joins the People of South Korea and the rest of the world during the 35th anniversary of commemorating the extraordinary patriotism of all those who sacrificed their lives and those who participated in the struggle for the restoration of liberty in the May 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters courageously broke the shackles of dictatorship by sacrificing their lives and emerged victorious raising the torch of the flame of freedom. Those who lost their lives and all involved in that historic and heroic moment will always win the respect and commendation of humankind for daring to confront the bloodshed of battle for their country’s liberty.