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International Day of the Disappeared

Cllr Jillian Creasy

Cllr Jillian Creasy attended the event organised by Sheffield Amnesty International on Monday 30th August to mark the International Day of the Disappeared. A small group of people  held up placards and read out the stories of people in other countries who have disappeared. Cllr Creasy read out the story of Ibragin Gazdiev (see below). This is how Sheffield Amnesty International explain what the event is about:

You could be taken at any time, day or night. You might be at home, at work or travelling on the street. Your captors may be in uniform or civilian clothes. They forcibly take you away, giving no reason, producing no warrant.  It becomes a nightmare  for your relatives who might spend years desperately trying to find you, going from one police station or army camp to the next.  They might never discover whether you are dead or alive. The officials deny having arrested you or knowing anything about your whereabouts or fate. You have become a victim of enforced disappearance.

An “enforced disappearance” occurs when agents of the state arrest a person and the state then denies any knowledge of the person’s status or whereabouts.

Amnesty International has reports of many thousands of such enforced disappearances – in Sri Lanka, Russia, El Salvador, Morocco, Iraq, Thailand, Pakistan, Bosnia, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt and Argentina, to name a few. No one is immune; victims include men, women and children.

One such case is that of 29 year old Ibragim Gazdiev who, on 8th August 2007,  was reportedly abducted by armed men in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia in the Russian Federation. He has not been seen since, and his family believe that he is – or was – held incommunicado. The authorities deny that they are holding him. The reason for his disappearance is unknown. Ibragim’s father reported his son’s disappearance the same day and a criminal investigation was opened. However, the investigation has been suspended more than once.  Ibragim’s father reported his son’s disappearance the same day and a criminal investigation was opened. However, the investigation has been suspended more than once; it was reopened in February 2009 but it has been suspended again since.

Topics: City Wide, General, Human Rights, International, Jillian Creasy

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