Sep 1, 2019, 11:40 AM
Journalist ID: 1842
News Code: 83460288
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UN chief urges world to prevent enforced disappearances, try those guilty

Tehran, Sept 1, IRNA – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message on International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, 30 August 2019, called on States to do more to prevent enforced disappearances and bring to justice those responsible.

"Enforced disappearance can be misperceived as an issue of the past, but many cases remain unresolved and new ones continue to arise," wrote Guterres in his message, a copy of which was faxed to IRNA by the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Tehran.

Guterres said that the Committee and the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, the key United Nations mechanisms established to address this matter, receives new cases every day, many of which are in the context of the fight against organized crime and terrorism.

He added, "Without due process and safeguards, abuses in the criminal justice system are much more likely, and when coupled with a culture of impunity, it can also increase the likelihood of enforced disappearances."

Saying that these disappearances have a profound impact on the lives of those searching for the victims, he added, "Uncertainty as to the whereabouts and fate of a friend, family member or loved one causes great psychological distress."

He urged the world to try to put an end to this suffering and and added that stepping towards "accountability" can be of help the healing process.

"Successful prosecutions of enforced disappearance cases have contributed to uncovering the truth, delivering justice and deterring repetition of this atrocity. These cases confirm that it is possible to put an end to this horrific practice."

He also wanted the world to step up their efforts "to protect human rights defenders, environmental activists, journalists and leaders of social movements" and added that in this matter, women are "particularly vulnerable."

Saying that countries' full cooperation with UN mechanisms will help solving the issue, Guterres urged all States that have not yet done so "to sign, ratify or accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance."

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