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South Asia: Enforced disappearance is systematically escalating in Bangladesh, Pakistan

Monday 18 December 2017, by siawi3

Source: http://www.dhakatribune.com/world/south-asia/2017/12/18/afad-enforced-disappearance-systematically-escalating-bangladesh-pakistan/

AFAD: Enforced disappearance is systematically escalating in Bangladesh, Pakistan

Tribune Desk
Published at 03:25 PM December 18, 2017

AFAD: Enforced disappearance is systematically escalating in Bangladesh, Pakistan

Image: The AFAD banner against enforced disappearances

Commission of enforced disappearances is systematically escalating in Bangladesh and Pakistan and the situation is now full blown, a press release read.

The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) concluded its five-day long congress in Sri Lanka with a stronger resolve to address enforced disappearances in the region at its roots.

The federation denounced governments’ outright denial, apathy, slow or absence of response to thousands of enforced disappearances, a press release said.

AFAD members convened to discuss the human rights situation in various parts of Asia.

Commission of enforced disappearances is systematically escalating in Bangladesh and Pakistan and the situation is now full blown, the press release read.

According to Odhikar, which campaigns and advocates to upholding human rights, 408 disappearances in Bangladesh between January 2009 and November 2017, and 2,496 disappearances in Pakistan between 2005 and November 2017 were recorded.

AFAD leaders, notwithstanding their recognition by prestigious award giving bodies for their outstanding defense of human rights, have been victims of arbitrary arrest and detention based on trumped up charges.

AFAD Chairperson Khurram Parvez was arrested and detained for 76 days in Kotbhalwal Jail in India on the pretext of preventing him from disturbing public order, a form of preventive detention under the Public Safety Act. Although he was released in November 2016, his case has recently been reopened, the statement read.

It went on to say that Adilur Rahman Khan, the secretary of Odhikar, was detained in Bangladesh. He was arrested for alleged violation of the Information and Communication Act, 2006 (amended 2009) but is now out on bail with the case is pending. Moreover, Odhikar’s legitimate foreign funding remains frozen in the bank upon orders of government.

AFAD strongly condemned the practice of forcibly abducting and disappearing, and unjustly persecuting leaders of civil society and people’s organizations.

AFAD strongly urged governments to conduct prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into reported disappearances, even without official complaints filed. Reparative measures that include monetary compensation, restitution, satisfaction, rehabilitation, and guarantees of non-repetition must likewise be instituted.

As enforced disappearance respects no age, gender, race, creed, religion, or ideology and is committed in a borderless geography, AFAD consolidated its 14 member organizations across Asia in Bangladesh, Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, and South Korea, and individual members in Laos and Switzerland. AFAD rallied its members to intensify their collective struggle to protect the absolute right not to be subjected to enforced disappearance in solidarity with all the peoples of Asia and the whole world.