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Declaration of the Third Euro-Mediterranean Meeting of the Families of the Disappeared

On December 11, 12 and 13, the associations of the families of the disappeared from all the region – Algeria, Spain, Iraq, Cyprus, Turkey, Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya – and from other continents, also several Turkish and international NGOS as some experts met on the thematic of “transitional justice and enforced disappearances”, within the framework of the Third Euro-Mediterranean Meeting of the Families of the Disappeared. This event was organized by the Euromed Federation against Enforced Disappearances (FEMED), in partnership with YAKAY-Der, Mothers for peace and the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD).

On the one hand, the Meeting has allowed the participants to know better the different mechanisms of transitional justice and particularly the Truth and Justice Commissions, their potential, their limits; to improve the analyze on the tensions which exist between the objectives of peace and justice; to have a reflexion on the potentials and the dangers of the different types of amnesty; to stress on the preservation of Memory and particularly the Human Rights archives; to underline the importance of the reparations for the families of the disappeared; to promote the organizations and the technologies which aim to identify the bodies.

At the end of these three days, the participants of the Euro-mediterranean Meeting of the Families of the Disappeared call
The countries of the region to :

  • put immediately an end to the practise of enforced disappearances;
  • to put an end to the secret detentions within the framework of the counter-terrorism;
  • to begin or to continue the dialog with the associations of the families of the disappeared in order to have an integral solution to the disappeared issue;
  • to give effectivity to the rights to Truth, Justice, and integral reparation to the victims of the enforced disappearances and their families;
  • to facilitate the research and the establishment of Truth with the protection of the mass graves and the places of secret detentions;
  • to respect the rights of the relatives and the Human Rights defensors, particularly their right to the freedom of association, of expression and of demonstration.
  • To recognize officially the responsibility of the State in the enforced disappearances and to apologize publically.

The Turkish authorities :

  • to release the persons who are arbitrarily detained and to stop the harassment against human rights defensors;;
  • to start immediately an independent program of exhumation and identification of the bodies and to give it back to their families in order for them to find the mass graves, particularly the Kurdish provinces;
  • to establish a centralized data base of the genetic information of the families of the disappeared and of the bodies;
  • to start prosecutions in order to establish the individual responsibilities and to sanction the authors of enforced disappearances.

The international community:

  • to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all persons from Enforced Disappearances and to recognize the competence of the Committee against Enforced Disappearances to receive individual complaints.
  • to reinforce the international mechanisms for the protection of human rights which have the competence to deal with the cases of enforced disappearances, notabily the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

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