(AFI Report): Today marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances as established by the United Nation General Assembly in December 2010. On this day, the Asia Freedom Institute (AFI) stands in solidarity with the victims of atrocious crime of enforced disappearances and their family and friends who suffer in silence everyday not knowing the whereabouts, well-being, and the fate of their loved ones.
Enforced Disappearance is a serious crime against humanity and is a flagrant violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international instruments. Yet, it is persistently used as a tool by the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to silence anyone who challenges their authority and is deemed a threat to China’s rule over people and territories illegally occupied by the Chinese government.
Human Rights experts, rights groups, and foreign governments have expressed grave concerns on enforced disappearances perpetrated by the Chinese government inside Mainland China, Tibet, East Turkestan, Hong Kong, and Southern Mongolia. However, it is an enormous challenge to accurately estimate the total number of cases because many go unreported due to state censorship. The Chinese government, the CCP and its agents have in recent years also engaged in transnational repression where Uyghurs, Chinese, Hong Kongers and others residing outside China have also disappeared.
Remembering the all victims of enforced disappearances around the world, Kelsang Aukatsang, President of Asia Freedom Institute, said, “enforced disappearances is a strategy used by authoritarian state to spread terror in the society and breeds fear in the community. On this day we particularly remember the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choe Kyi Nyima, who was abducted at the age of 6 on 17th May 1995 and has not been seen in public since. Despite repeated appeals, the Chinese government has refused to reveal his whereabouts.”
AFI strongly condemns all enforced disappearances perpetrated by the Chinese government and calls on China to immediately end the practice of enforced disappearances and account for all who have ‘disappeared’.