Protecting people from enforced disappearance

No Right Turn has a great campaign urging the government to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

No Right Turn’s author, Idiot/Savant, has only got about 3 weeks left to collect signatures before presenting the petition to Parliament, so it would be great if we and other bloggers could do our bit by collecting a  few signatures and posting them in to No Right Turn (instructions on the link above).  Idiot Savant’s media release reads:

The Convention outlaws enforced disappearance, and requires its parties to cooperate to ensure that offenders are prosecuted or extradited to face justice. It also strengthens minimum standards around imprisonment and establishes a monitoring system to ensure that prisoners cannot disappear. So far, 73 states, including most of Europe and South America, have signed it. While the New Zealand government officially supports the Convention, it refuses to sign it, citing inconsistencies with other international law.

Enforced disappearance is the practice of detaining people, then refusing to acknowledge their detention or whereabouts, thereby placing them outside the protection of the law. That lack of oversight allows victims to be tortured and murdered with impunity. Disappearance was widespread in South America during the 70’s and 80’s, and happens today in Pakistan, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and numerous other countries. The systematic use of enforced disappearance is defined as a crime against humanity under international law.

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