Forced disappearance

MANILA - WAITING is galling.

It doesn’t matter whether it's in Afghanistan by a son for his father or in Thailand by a sister for her mother. The tick-tock of a clock is magnified, the mind works up a worry, and the heart beats toward fear.

It's jarring if the loved one was forced to disappear or abducted by agents of the powerful. The days of waiting for him or her turns to months; the months, years.

It’s difficult for those with deep reverence for death, since there’s no body to bury. It’s equally difficult for those with deep faith in humanity, since the assailant may have buried their compassion with their victim.

Waiting becomes an anguish.

The universality of such experience will be shared on August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared.

The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (Afad) and the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (Find) have asked journalists to cover a public event on August 28.

Afad said in its invitation letter it expects ten countries to be represented in such event in the run up to Sunday.

Representatives of organizations of families of desaparecidos from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bolivia, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are expected to be there in solidarity with Filipino families of the disappeared.

The event, according to Afad, will be held at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in EDSA corner Quezon Ave. Quezon City, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

The group said an inter-faith ritual will open the event and which will feature members of theater group Association of the Children of the Disappeared in a “dance interpretation of De Profundis simulating the deep anguish of the desaparecidos.”

The ritual, according to the group, will be followed by a laying of wreath for all the desaparecidos of the world.

After these, Afad said they have asked authors of the bill criminalizing enforced disappearance “to present their views on the measure."

They said they've also asked the United Nations to send someone to speak on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and why it is urgent for member-states to enforce this agreement.

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