Thursday, September 03, 2020

Editorial: Do the disappeared count if even 'democratic' countries ignore them?

On Sunday, the UN noted the disappeared, it was The International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

The UN noted it.  The US press?  They had so much time to waste but none to pay attention.

That includes the petty and greedy 'independent' press always dipping their hands in your pockets -- THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE, COUNTERPUNCH, etc.

Here's C.I.'s post that appeared Sunday:

 The number of the disappeared only increases

 No circumstance can justify someone's disappearance. 

Sunday is the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances.
5:01 PM · Aug 29, 2020

The United Nations Tweeted that yesterday.  Today is the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances.  In previous years, countries like Argentina came to mind (under the tyrant and criminal Augusto Pinochet) came to mind.  Sting wrote and recorded "They Dance Alone" about the disappeared in Argentina on his 1987 album . . . NOTHING LIKE THE SUN.

The only form of protest they're allowed
I've seen their silent faces, they scream so loud
If they were to speak these words
They'd go missing, too
Another woman on the torture table
What else can they do?
Dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
Dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone
They dance alone
One day we'll dance on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance
One day we'll dance on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance

Ellas danzan con los desaparecidos
Danzan con los muertos
Danzan con amores invisibles
Con silenciosa angistia
Danzan con sus padres
Con sus hijos
Con sus esposos
Ellas danzan solas
Danzan solas

The Iraq War, ongoing, is the story of the disappeared.  Ethnic cleansing has taken place (especially carried out by Shi'ite forces from 2006 through 2008).  Nouri al-Maliki's government (2006 through 2014) terrorized the people of Iraq -- everyone was an enemy to Nouri, even Shi'ites.  He had secret torture cells and hidden prisons.  Hundreds of thousands were disappeared in Iraq.  This is part of turning Iraq into a land of widows and children.  It's why the median age in Iraq now is 21-years-old.  Neighboring Iran?  31.3-years-old.  Neighboring Kuwait?  36.8-years-old.  Neighboring Turkey? 31.5-years-old.  Are you getting it?  

Because some days it seems like no one gives a damn except BRussels Tribunal.

The disappeared include the people of Anbar Province, the people of Mosul, the people throughout Iraq.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued the following today:

The crime of enforced disappearance is rife across the world.  We see new cases almost daily, including the disappearance of defenders of the environment, who are often indigenous peoples.  Meanwhile, the excruciating pain of old cases is still acute, as the fate of thousands of disappeared people remains unknown, making the crime a continuous presence in the lives of the loved ones of the lost.

The United Nations Committee and Working Group on Enforced Disappearances have identified additional worrying trends, including reprisals against relatives of the victims and members of civil society, often in the name of security and counter-terrorism.  Enforced disappearance also has gendered consequences particularly affecting women and LGBTI persons.

Impunity compounds the suffering and anguish.  Under international human rights law, families and societies have a right to know the truth about what happened.  I call on Member States to fulfil this responsibility.

With the support of international human rights mechanisms, States have a duty to strengthen their efforts to prevent enforced disappearances, to search for victims, and to increase assistance to victims and their relatives.  It is equally critical to pursue credible and impartial judicial investigations.

On this International Day, let us renew our commitment to end all enforced disappearances. I call on all States to ratify the Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearances and to accept the competence of the Committee to examine individual complaints. This is a first, but crucial step, towards the elimination of this atrocious crime.


António Guterres

Sadly, the disappeared exist around the world.  Our focus is Iraq so that's what we're zooming in on.

The ICRC in Iraq Tweets:

Thousands of families of missing still live in ambiguity as they seek answers on the fate of their loved ones who went missing in #Iraq as a result of four decades of conflicts. We remember them today on the International Day of Disappeared.

Netherlands Embassy in Iraq Tweets:

Each conflict in #Iraq has resulted in a new generation of disappeared, putting Iraq among the countries with the highest number of #MissingPersons. Families of up to a million people are waiting for answers #DayoftheDisappeared #TheSearchMustGoOn

Lovely World Tweets:

More than a million absentees in Iraq don't know their fate, for years. families of disappeared are tired of waiting without hope. state of militias has killed , kidnapped, in the name of religion. human rights and United Nations must reveal the fate of these people. #وينهم
7:03 PM · Aug 30, 2020

The Baghdad Post Tweets:

#UN mission to #Iraq calls for independent probe to find whereabouts of 1,000 Iraqis who disappeared in #Anbar #BaghdadPost #Iraq
9:16 AM · Aug 30, 2020

Zuhair Hussain Tweets:

U.N. calls on Baghdad to investigate the fate of 1,000 civilians disappeared in Anbar #Iraq #forceddisappearances

Ahmad al-Almeed Tweets:

Years passed and the file of the forcibly disappeared in Iraq is still being raised from time to time without any government treatment or disclosure of their fate despite repeated requests from the Sunni and popular political forces from their families, #وينهم
6:38 PM · Aug 30, 2020

Linda Hemby Tweets:

#Iraq: UN report on #EnforcedDisappearances calls for independent/effective investigations to establish the fate of 1,000 civilian men and boys disappeared during military operations against ISIL in #Anbar in 2015-2016 and to hold perpetrators accountable

Human Rights Watch's Belkis Willie Tweets the following thread:

@UNIraq says in Anbar in 2015/16, pro-gov forces subjected at least 1k mostly Sunni Arab men/boys to disappearances, executions, torture, arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention
12:06 PM · Aug 30, 2020

At the time of the abuses, wrote about the hundreds of men from Saqlawiyah, from al-Mahamda tribe that were tortured, disappeared in 2016
12:06 PM · Aug 30, 2020

And the thousands of other men and boys who armed forces disappeared from 2014-2017 in other anti-ISIS operations Iraq: Secret Detention, No Recourse via
Iraq: Secret Detention, No Recourse
Iraqi military and security forces have disappeared dozens of mostly Sunni Arab males since 2014, including children as young as 9, often in the context of c...

in its newest report concludes limited progress made re establishing fate of the men, boys missing; holding accountable individuals, including commanders, responsible for enforced disappearances; and respecting the right of victims to justice, truth and reparation.
12:06 PM · Aug 30, 2020

Any "@" whatever in a Tweet is taken out by me because otherwise some browsers will show this page with a big, black box covering words.  I've noted before the browsers you can use to avoid that; however, e-mail still come in complaining about those black squares.  For that reason, we remove any @ that I notice.  We also cannot include the Twitter id because the 'blue check' also creates a black square.  

The Committee to Protect Journalists Tweets:

At least 64 journalists are currently missing around the world. Nearly one third have disappeared from #Iraq, #Syria, and #Lebanon
. These journalists are #MissingNotForgotten. #InternationalDayoftheDisappeared

8:15 AM · Aug 30, 2020

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