How a human being can “disappear”
Posted 30 August 2011, by Jim McDonald, Amnesty International, Posted by Email – associated website: www.amnesty.org/
These people haven’t really “disappeared” – their governments know exactly what happened to them.
When authorities in Sri Lanka realized they couldn’t erase the published stories that criticized their government, they decided to erase the journalist who created them – Prageeth Eknaligoda – instead.
Today, on the International Day of the Disappeared, we stand with the families and loved ones of those, like Prageeth, who have been erased — taken — disappeared.
So how does one “disappear” a human being?
Some governments – like in Chad, China, Nepal, North Korea and Sri Lanka – seem to have it down to a science. Home abductions. False arrests. Secret prisons. But the common thread that binds all enforced disappearances – denying everything.
Because when authorities deny that a person is being held or can conceal their whereabouts, then no law can touch them — no family can find them.
But we’ve discovered a powerful way to fight back against this injustice. We never forget a face.
We’ve seen their pictures. We’ve spoken to their friends, spouses, and children. We’ve heard about the full and meaningful lives they led before. And now we’re pressing their governments to answer one simple question: Where are they now?
Demand that these governments disclose the fate of their disappeared.
These people may have been disappeared, but as long as Amnesty is on watch, they will never be forgotten.
Today, we ask that you honor the International Day of the Disappeared by calling for answers, demanding justice and helping to bring families some much-needed peace.
Country Specialist, Sri Lanka
Amnesty International USA
Posyed by Email, Associated website www.amnesty.org/