DHR Press Report regarding missing persons protest march for International Week of the Disappeared
30th May 2015
“It would be a great folly and a sign of ignorance of human nature If any one thinks that efforts to silence us can make us forget our enforced disappeared loved ones” Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of Defence of Human Rights and flag bearer of missing persons’ movement, said this in a written statement. She was leading a protest march of the families of missing persons in which participants had their mouths shut by bands symbolically. This protest march was part of a series of activities being conducted regarding International Week of Disappeared. This week is celebrated around the world to protest against enforced disappearances. It further stated, “we are standing here in the capital of Pakistan with our mouths shut and want to convey this message to the responsible that our cries shall reach to the throne of Allah even if you succeeded in strangling our voices.”
On the insistence of media persons a participant broke silence and said that “enforced disappearance is open terrorism. What kind of peace is the government searching for by disappearing its own citizens?” Another person said that “the state will lose its moral authority if it will stoop down to the level of terrorists.”
Mr Asad Umer, a central leader of Pakistan’s leading opposition party Tehreek-e- Insaaf also joined the rally to express solidarity with the constitutional stance of DHR Pakistan. While addressing the rally he said that, “Amina Janjua is standing for the rule of law and constitution. Missing persons’ movement is on the right and all the enforced disappeared persons and their families should be given justice. DHR’s struggle will not only benefit myself and my kids but for future generations as well. I pray for your (DHR’s) success.” At this occasion he also praised the role of press and media and said that it is just because of journalists that missing persons’ issue is known all over Pakistan.
Defence of Human Rights (DHR) is the leading organization of missing persons in Pakistan which was founded by Mrs Amina Masood Janjua after the abduction of her husband Masood Janjua in 2005. This year on 30th July 10 years of Masood’s disappearance shall be completed. DHR Pakistan is endeavoring to eradicate enforced disappearance from around the world and especially from Asia. It is representing 2171 cases of enforced disappearance in Supreme Court of Pakistan as well as in Commission of Inquiry of Enforced disappearance, a body formed by government of Pakistan to look into the cases of enforced disappearances. It is known fact that many families of disappeared refrain from launching any official complaint for fear of reprisals yet Chief Justice of Peshawar High Pakistan informed last year that there are 3055 cases of enforced disappearance either pending before the court or have been adjudicated. This brings the total to 5226 of confirmed cases of disappearances in the country. DHR Pakistan demands that all the disappeared persons be surfaced immediately and enforced disappearance be declared a punishable crime after ratifying United Nations convention to protect all persons from enforced disappearance.
Defence of Human Rights Pakistan
3rd Floor, Majeed Plaza, Bank Road,
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.