Praying Against Forgetting
AFAD Statement on
National Day of Prayer for the Disappeared
3 December 2010
In commemoration of the 62nd anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December and the entry into force of the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance on 23 December 2010, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) joins hand with families of the disappeared persons and human rights advocates in the Philippines in marking this day as the National Day of Prayer for the Disappeared.
Today, we offer our solemn prayers to those who have been made to disappear by agents of the state. We remember and honor them for sacrificing their lives in service to the country and to the whole of humanity.
We also mourn with those families and relatives who have suffered disastrous loss due to the disappearance of their loved ones. May their never-ending torment brought about by the uncertainty of the fates and whereabouts of their disappeared loved ones come to its final end. May their tears be wiped away and their struggles be put to rest.
As the civilized world now loudly denounces this evil practice through the entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance, justice demands that those responsible should be punished, victims and their families be indemnified and never again should this crime be repeated in history.
Today, we invite all peace loving people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance by honoring the memory of thousands of victims of enforced disappearance around the world. We comfort those who lost their loved ones through the continuing work we do to realize our much-cherished dream of attaining a world without desaparecidos. We implore to God that they be given the much-needed strength and perseverance to transcend this global tragedy and personal loss and turn them into concrete victories in the fight against impunity.
We believe that through our prayers, coupled with continuing actions, we can move mountains or sail deepest seas just to see the day when truth shall be known, justice will be rendered and no one will ever be subjected again to enforced disappearances.
Our prayers are not just a matter of uttered words, but a voice from within – a profound and strong desire of our hearts to fight for memory against forgetting and to pursue the quest for a world free from fear and violence.
Signed and authenticated by:
MUGIYANTO MARY AILEEN BACALSO