Statements of AFAD
Articles on the Proceedings on the AFAD Leadership Training
Jan. 27 - 31, 2003, Philippines
AFAD Second Congress Resolutions
AFAD Second Congress
August 26-30, 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand
AFAD’s Mid-Year Report
Again, The KONTRAS – IKOHI Office Was Attacked
“ If they are dead, tell us”!
My sons, where are they?
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
April 22, 2003
“If they are dead, tell us”!
statement is the battle cry of almost 50 relatives of disappeared people
in Jammu and Kashmir as they go for a week-long hunger strike. The
organizer, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) said
hundred others from different districts in Jammu and Kashmir are joining
in this strike.
The hunger strike which started on April 17, has so far, gained support
from international rights groups e.g. Amnesty International , Asian
Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances , Tiananmen Mothers
Campaign in Hong Kong , KontraS of Indonesia, Ikohi of Indonesia, FIND
of the Philippines, Truth and Justice Commission of Pakistan, Fletcher
School of Law And Diplomacy, Boston,USA. Usmaan Raheem Ahmad of Fletcher
School said, “ the campaign of APDP is fully backed by international
law. The struggle, which APDP is carrying out, is against impunity
itself and for upholding of human rights and human freedom everywhere”.
The United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances states that enforced or
involuntary disappearances is a crime against humanity, never permitted
even in times of war.
6,000 cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances took place in
Kashmir since the start of the armed uprising in 1989, APDP reported.
The victims, majority of them are non-combatants, were reportedly
arrested by law enforcements agencies and declared missing to date.
Since 1989, different regimes have taken over the reigns. But no
substantial effort has been done to alleviate the issue of enforced or
involuntary disappearances in Kashmir. Disappearances still continue and
now increasing in numbers.
Even the new Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir State Mufti Muhammad
Sayeed admitted the phenomenon. On February 25, 2003, Mufti informed the
State Assembly in Jammu that 3,744 persons are missing between 2000 to
2002. 1,553 persons disappeared in 2000. 1, 586 missing in 2001 and 605
in 2002.” Earlier, on July 18, 2002, the then Home Minister Khalid
Najeeb Soharwardy of the National Conference government also admitted on
the floor of the Legislative Assembly that 3,184 person were missing in
the valley since the inception of militancy.
The relatives of the victims who are struggling individually and
collectively, are demanding from the Indian government to tell them the
whereabouts of their loved ones or worst, declare them dead, if they
The relatives are observing this hunger strike as a means to highlight
their plight and in order to pressure the government to heed to the
1. Stop enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir so that other
people will not undergo similar plight and trauma they are facing.
2. Punish the perpetrators responsible for enforced disappearances as
under no law, disappearances could be an official act under any
circumstances not even in war times. Enforced disappearances would only
end if perpetrators are held personally responsible and seek no
protection under the cover of impunity laws.
3. Appoint a commission to probe into all enforced disappearances (as
has been done in other countries) in Jammu and Kashmir state since 1989,
and identify state and non-state perpetrators responsible for enforced
or involuntary disappearances.
4. Provide justice to the relatives of the disappeared persons according
to the international standards.
Thus, AFAD members from seven countries are doing solidarity efforts to
pressure the Indian government to listen to the victims’ families.
From the Desk of:
JENNIFER S. PACURSA
AFAD Regional Secretariat