Enforced disappearances of detained persons is one of the methods employed by the dominant classes against the societal opposition to maintain their grip on power based on oppression and exploitation. Those of all ages and from all occupations who are fighting for freedom, equality and justice against exploitation, oppression, poverty, violence against women, the devastation of the environment and climate, racism, war, and weapons proliferation are being detained by state forces and the paramilitaries connected with them, tortured to death and their bodies covertly buried.
Through these dirty tactics, which have and continue to be practiced in many countries around the world from Hitler’s fascist Germany to Latin America, from Turkey to Sri Lanka, from Pakistan to Iraq, from Syria to Colombia, from Mexico to Balochistan, and from Egypt to Morocco, those actively struggling against exploitative and oppressive systems are being disappeared in custody with the intention of generating uncertainty, anxiety and fear in society and thus silencing the societal opposition.
Enforced disappearances are also simultaneously attacks directed against the organised struggles of the working class and labourers. The direct or indirect responsibility of international monopolies in many countries in these attacks for the sake of excessive profits has also been proven through countless examples.
In countries where the societal opposition is more greatly developed, these state attacks have been in large part repulsed through the joint struggles of the relatives of the disappeared, human rights organisations and progressive and revolutionary forces. The long running struggle of Argentina’s Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the determined struggle of the Cumartesi Anneleri (Saturday Mothers) in Turkey provide shining examples in this regard.
Despite such important struggles, the fate of the majority of those forcibly disappeared in custody is still unknown due to the states which conduct such attacks covering up their crimes against humanity and protecting the perpetrators with the armour of impunity.
It is therefore vitally important that the struggle continue around the globe to uncover the fate of those forcibly disappeared and bring those responsible to judgement.
In Turkey, the Saturday Mothers have marked their 946th week of protest demanding that the fate of those disappeared in custody be revealed and that the perpetrators be made to face judgement. Despite a ruling by the supreme court (AYM) that this protest cannot be prohibited, in Galatasaray square every week fascist dictator Erdogan has the Saturday Mothers kettled by police and taken into custody. As the ICAD, we protest the arresting of the Saturday Mothers and express our solidarity with their honourable struggle.
We will continue to struggle to reveal the fate of the disappeared in detention all over the world and to prosecute those responsible.
During the 17-31 May International Week of Struggle against Forced Disappearances, the ICAD calls on all to take to the streets everywhere, to show solidarity with those disappeared and to hold those responsible to account.
The disappeared will never be forgotten.
ICAD International Bureau