//"Forced Disappearance" Conference Starts in Turkey

"Forced Disappearance" Conference Starts in Turkey

International Conference on Enforced Disappearance Under custody is being held between May 16-20. in Turkey. 46 delegates from 17 countries attending conference. ICAD's Selcuk says: "We want the opening of mass graves, an end to disappearances and prosecutions.

BİA (Diyarbakir) – The 5th International Conference on Enforced Disappearance Under Detention is being held between May 16-20 in the southeast province of Diyarbakir with a total of 46 delegates attending from 17 countries.

Organisers of the Conference, the International Committee Against Disappearances (ICAD) and the Centre of Support and Solidarity for the Family Members of Forcibly Disappeared People (YAKAYDER) held a press conference on Monday together with some of the attending delegates and disclosed the event program and participants.

ICAN International Office Representative Baki Selcuk and YAKAYDER's Pervin Buldan told reporters that they have been working for the past year to organise this 5-day international event.

Selcuk said, "in this part of geography, disappearances have not come to an end, the fait of those who have disappeared have not been disclosed. The number of mass graves is higher than assumed, information is not being disclosed on operations. Those responsible for disappearances from Susurluk to Semdinli should be made to pay".

Conference delegates: No more disappearances

Delegate Manik Mukherjee attending the conference from India said there were "two Indias" with one being represented by the proletariat that makes up 80 percent of the country and the other represented by the "capitalist and imperialist ruling class". He said it was the ruling class that was responsible for the disappearances in India.

Delegate Diana Kordon participating in the conference from Argentine said "there are 30 thousand people who have disappeared in Argentine and five thousand children who are aggrieved by this. The people's war is continuing against these disappearances. As mothers of the missing, we will share experiences with the [Turkish mothers of missing persons who gather weekly as] Saturday Mothers. Let us hope that this conference becomes an instrument to struggle against political oppression throughout the world. That injustice and exploitation is eliminated".

Halil Ebu Shammala is from the Palestinian Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association that works on the rights of prisoners taken captive in Gazza.

In Turkey on behalf of the Palestinian People's Liberation Front (PPLF) Ebu Shammala said "it is unfortunate that the reason for our gathering at this conferences, disappearances, still continues. This should not be a shame for us but for all the governments that are violating human rights".

Delegate Larisa Schirba attending the conference from Canada on behalf of the Council of Friendship and Solidarity with the Soviet People said their target was to explain what happened after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and inseminate information on their struggle.

Lawyer and Red Assistance Organisation member Juan Manuel Olarieta from Spain said "we want to be the voice of the anti-capitalists in Spanish jails. There are no missing persons in Spain but all those missing are as close to us as if they had disappeared in Spain".

ICAD, YAKAYDER and the delegates commemorated Turkey's "Saturday Mothers" with red carnations in front of the Galatasaray Lycee following their press conference.

Conference Program

* The conference starting Tuesday will end on May 21 Sunday. The meeting will open with all delegates arriving in Diyarbakir and introducing themselves.

* On Wednesday a sitting protest will be held for those who have disappeared under detention, a photo exhibition will be opened, trees will be planted for the missing and the film, "Missing" will be screened. There is also a panel chat between Yusuf Cetin and Necmettin Cobanoglu the same day.

* On Friday the issues of "human rights, disappearances under detention and the perspective of the struggle" as well as "war strategies and the reality of Middle East today" and "Neo-liberal economic policies and Militarism" will be discussed.

* On Saturday, following the conclusion statement of the Conference, the grave of Vedat Aydin will be visited and an international culture night will be held.

BIA News Center, 16/05/2006    Emine OZCAN