27 May –June 2, 2012 – Every last week of May, the international community, especially the associations of families of the disappeared, commemorates the International Week of the Disappeared (IWD). The commemoration of the IWD can be traced to the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (FEDEFAM), which initiated this event during its founding Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1981. Over the past thirty years this event has inspired many organizations world-wide to fight enforced disappearances.
This week, in the observance of the International Week of the Disappeared, the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) and its 40 member-organizations from Africa, Asia, the Eurasian Region (Euro-Mediterranean Region, Caucasus and Belarus), Latin America and the United States of America will conduct various activities to intensify its campaign for the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (the Convention) and in so doing, pay tribute to the disappeared.
South African Extraordinary Professor and UN official to visit PH for the International Week of the Disappeared
Mr. Jeremy Sarkin, Extraordinary Professor of the University of South Africa, former Chairperson-Rapporteur and incumbent member of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) will visit the country in his personal capacity as a UN expert on May 29, 2012. He will join the families of the disappeared and other human rights groups in the commemoration of the International Week of the Disappeared.
Lasting Tribute to the May 1992 Heroes and Martyrs
Today, twenty long years have passed since the Thai people experienced one of the most gruesome massacres in history when hundreds of people who were fighting for genuine change and democracy in the country were violently and brutally suppressed by the Thai security forces. A couple of decades have passed yet truth and justice on the killings and disappearances are still to be achieved. A number of victims are still unaccounted for.
While in recent years, the Thai government in recent years had sought to atone for the gross human rights violations committed during the 1992 Black May massacre by indemnifying some of the victims and their families and by promising to build a monument in memory of the May 1992 Heroes, efforts to simply turn the page Thailand’s repressive history without genuine truth and accountability merely manifest impunity.
On April 27, 2012, victims’ family of enforced disappearance in 1997/1998 with The Commission for the disappeared and victims of violence (KontraS) and The Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared (IKOHI) had complained to The President trough The Ombudsman of Republic of Indonesia (ORI) which motivated by the neglect of the President to follow up the recommendations from Parliament (DPR RI) in handling the case of enforced disappearance in 1997/1998. This negligence already happens for more than two (2) years. Justice to the victims still stuck as a hostage in the arm President SBY.
Based on the victims’ report, Ombudsman stated that undue delay has occurred refer to the completion of enforced disappearance’s case in 1997/1998 which clearly as an act of maladministration and denial of good governance principles. Then on 15th May 2012, Ombudsman finally delivered the first clarification letter to the President related to the steps that have been and will be pursued by the government to accomplish the case of enforced disappearance in 1997/1998 for the sake of justice and legal certainty to the victims and victims’ family. The President has not yet replies directly that first clarification letter. On May 29th, 2012, the President trough Sudi Silalahi, the Minister of State Secretary, replied with the letter addressed to the Minister of Law and Human Rights with carbon copy to the Chief of Ombudsman which stated that the clarification letter will be as a study materials and further treatment in accordance with the applicable authorities.