Defiling the sanctity of humanity
Author Talha Masood
Every 30th of August is globally acknowledged as the international day to raise our voices together against all those who abuse their powers to enforce unjustified disappearances and subsequently cause unimaginable agony to the relatives of such victims. It also presents us with an opportunity to become such people’s social, moral, and emotional fallback in times of their crisis. Consequently, the day can be understood as a tool to determine the extent of our own humanity by bringing our own actions in stark contrast to those who defile its sanctity for the purpose of accomplishing their own political or socio-economic agendas.
To begin with let us first understand what exactly qualifies as an enforced disappearance. According to UN declaration of December 18, 1992, an enforced disappearance occurs when: “ “persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.”” Simply put, when any powerful entity or institution may it be political, social, or even religious, forcefully apprehends any individual, they not only deny them their basic rights of freedom and liberty but are also guilty of withholding their right to a fair judicial proceeding to be condemned or condoned accordingly within the precincts of law. Such people believe themselves above any moral and ethical obligations. They have a firm conviction of being beyond any legal ramifications for their actions. As a result, their victims are often subjected to cruel sometimes even brutal experiences which know no bounds.
Additionally, the relatives of such sufferers find themselves imprisoned in an all-consuming torment of not knowing what exactly has happened to their spouses, their siblings, their children or other loved ones. Such uncertainty cripples not only their psychological and emotional well-being but in some cases ruins their economic stability as well. If the abducted person is the Bread earner of his/her family, their sudden disappearances push their families into a series of socio-economic deprivations, a trial of knives which, if becomes unendurable, absolutely crushes their spirit to survive and rips apart there will to hope for the return of their fathers or mothers, brothers and sisters, their sons or daughters. Eventually, their weary hearts begin to be bitter and distrustful of everything which in effect harms the very fabric of society, causing everyone to feel a disquieting unease even fear.
Notwithstanding the fact that people who enforce such disappearances do not care for any gender considerations, often amongst those who are left behind to fend for themselves are women. As such, depending upon the cultural pragmatics of their respective societies they begin to face problems of their own including sexual harassment and an unruly manipulation of their obliging predicament. How do you think can such a behavior be tackled? Do you not think that we have an obligation to words people in such a pain and suffering?
Indeed dear reader, an organized movement, demanding the rights and legal action with respect to the victims of enforced disappearances and those who are responsible for such a defilement of humanity, appears to be the only effective method to rattle the cages. Meanwhile however, Let us not wait for the disappearance of somebody we love, somebody of our own acquaintance to even have an idea of what it feels like to be in a limbo… not knowing the fate of somebody you care about while feeling obliged by your love to not let go of your hope no matter what. Let us do all that we can, little though it may be, to ease the burden of such families by lending them financial aid, if it is affordable; If not, then at the very least by providing them unreservedly our social and moral support to sustain their psychological and emotional well-being. Let us become the very expression of humanity by standing together with those affected by the inhumanity of practices like enforced disappearances!