By: Tricia Aquino, InterAksyon.com
August 29, 2012 7:00 PM
MANILA, Philippines — Human rights activists are urging Facebook users to take down their profile pictures on Thursday, August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, to show solidarity with the families and friends of victims of enforced disappearances.
On Tuesday, Karapatan posted this appeal on itsFacebook page: “Please take down your profile picture on August 30, Thursday, in solidarity with the friends and family of the missing, from the Martial Law days up to the present, who continue to seek justice.”
This online action also serves as a rallying cry for the swift passage of the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Bill.
As the nation commemorates the 40th year since former President Ferdinand Marcos imposed Martial Law on the Philippines, Karapatan said it hopes the Filipino people “take stock of the continuing need to remember the open tyrannical rule and the grave human rights violations during the Marcos years; reflect and study the prevailing climate of impunity and the pervasive rights abuses under the Oplan Bayanihan of the current Aquino administration; and resist all forms of curtailment of human rights and pursue justice for the victims and their kin.”
On Thursday, families of those who disappeared during the years following Martial Law will gather at Plaza Miranda to call on President Benigno Aquino III to “stop enforced disappearances and to demand justice for all those who disappeared” over four decades.
Last year, Facebook users also took their profile pictures down to protest continuing enforced disappearances and human rights violations.
In an article on last year’s campaign, InterAksyon noted that the International Day of the Disappeared was initiated by the Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, “a nongovernment organization established in Costa Rica in 1981, which works to help those affected by forced disappearances in Latin America.”