On 10th October 2012 Odhikar marks its 18th anniversary. The day also happens to be the International Day against the Death Penalty1. As a human rights organisation Odhikar has been campaigning for justice and fair trial; and against the death penalty since its inception.
Established against the backdrop of the fall of the military dictatorship and restoration of democracy; Odhikar became a powerful network of human rights defenders in Bangladesh and earned its reputation as the unwavering watchdog of the people’s right to liberty, justice and participatory governance. Odhikar’s core commitments to uphold human rights and the rule of law; and to ensure people’s rights against discrimination, exploitation and impunity remain as relevant today as they were on the day of its initiation. Odhikar’s struggle started in 1994 and continues unabated. Needless to say, the condition under which the organisation is operating today is more challenging than eighteen years ago with the State becoming increasingly repressive.
Geneva -- The United Nations Human Rights Committee recently condemned Algeria in a case of enforced disappearance. In May 1996, Mr. Kamel Rakik, 33 years old, was arrested at his home, around 30 km from Algiers, by policemen of Algiers’ Wilaya. He was brought to the Chateauneuf Police officers school where he was tortured. He has not been seen since.
The Rakik family left no stone unturned in the quest to discover the whereabouts of their beloved ones. The case has been brought before all relevant judicial and administrative authorities. Yet no investigation has been opened and no one has ever been prosecuted.
In its decision, the Human Rights Committee holds that, because of the disappearance of Kamel Rakiki, Algeria breached several provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (one of the most important international conventions within the United Nations system), including the right to life and the right to be free from torture and other forms of ill-treatment. In doing so, Algeria also inflicted upon the family members of the disappeared person an inadmissible treatment through the severe mental distress and anguish they were forced to endure.
Complete Resolution of Munir’s Murder, A Step Towards Ending the Impunity
On the eighth anniversary of the murder of the prominent Indonesian human rights defender Munir Said Thalib, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), chaired by Munir from 2003 until the time of his death, joins the human rights community’s call on the Indonesian government to reopen the investigation on the murder case. The AFAD is concerned that all those responsible for his death be brought to justice, thus making a significant breakthrough in the fight against the prevailing impunity from human rights violations committed against human rights defenders in Indonesia.
Bangkok, 30 August, 2012 : On the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared, the Justice for Peace Foundation (JPF) and the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) commend the Thai government for signing the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance in January this year. Both the JPF and the AFAD further express appreciation to the Thai government for committing to provide reparation to victims of enforced disappearances by the end of this year to victims from the southern boarding provinces from 2004. This commitment is seen as an integral part in the whole process of the government’s commitment to respond to the victims’ families’ need for truth and justice.