August 30, 2014
The International Day of the Disappeared, also known as the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, draws attention to the fate of individuals abducted or detained by agents of the state (or those acting with support of the state), and held in locations concealed from their relatives and legal representatives. In short it is created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives.
In 2006, the United Nations adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED). As of 2012, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances estimates that at least 42,889 people worldwide have been forcibly disappeared with fates unknown. Activist groups worldwide continue to urge states to ratify ICCPED (as of August 2013, only 40 have done so) and call for truth and justice for victims past and present.
Andargachew Tsige, an Ethiopian- British political activist and the Secretary General of the Ginbot 7 Movement, who was abducted and forcibly sent to Ethiopia on June 23, 2014, is one of the perfect examples of such activists that should be remember on this Day. Neither his families nor the international community knows where Andargachew is being held or if he is dead or alive. He has been concealed from his relatives and legal representatives. Just like Andargachew, there are many named and little reported activists and falsely persecuted Ethiopian activists in private and state owned gulags held by government securities.
The little that we can do is just remember these disappeared activists on the “International Day of the Disappeared”.
More information collected from: Amnesty International, the United Nations