What is Enforced Disappearance?

According to the United Nations’ Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992 as a body of principles for all States, an enforced disappearance occurs when:

“…persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.”

A Brief History of Militarization

Since 1989, Kashmir has been put under heavy military control with over 700,000 Indian troops (as per sources) placed in public and private spaces throughout the Kashmir valley.

Enforced Disappearance Since 1989

In the process of militarizing civilian spaces to fight against a homegrown insurgency since 1989, the Indian army and its state forces have subjected 8,000 to 10,000 Kashmiri civilians to enforced disappearance.

The Origins of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons

Of the 8,000 to 10,000 civilians enforced disappeared, Javaid Ahmad Ahangar of 16 years of age was picked up from his home on August 18, 1990, and never to be found again. His mother, Parveena, began an unending search for him and in the process organized an entire group of family members also looking for their loved ones. The result of such an ongoing search is APDP – Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, with Parveena Ahangar as the Founder and Chairperson. For over a quarter of a century APDP with the leadership of Parveena has been fighting for justice and demanding answers from the state about the whereabouts of all such 8000 to 10,000 missing Kashmiris.

What We Do

As an internationally recognized human rights organization, we specialize in the following:

  • APDP actively campaigns for an end to the practice and crime of involuntary and enforced disappearances at local, national and international platforms.
  • APDP has been engaged in documenting enforced disappearances in Kashmir since 1989 and has collected information on over one thousand such cases so far.
  • On the 10th of each month, families of the disappeared come together under the aegis of APDP to hold a public protest in Srinagar to commemorate the disappearance of their loved ones and to seek answers from the state about the whereabouts of the missing persons.
  • APDP provides basic support to families of the enforced disappeared, especially those who were left destitute when their primary providers and breadwinners (often men) were enforced disappeared.
  • APDP provides medical support to the families of the enforced disappeared who cannot get such support by themselves. Among such families are elderly parents who have been waiting for their loved ones for over two decades.
  • APDP maintains regular contact with the families of the enforced disappeared through its main office in Srinagar and checks on their status.
  • APDP provides free expert consultation to a variety of scholars, researchers, artists, journalists, writers, film-makers, etc. who are interested in the topic of enforced disappearance in Kashmir to raise awareness about this serious violation of human rights.
  • Under the leadership of our founder, Parveena Ahangar, APDP attends multiple international events at different conferences and institutions.
  • APDP offers internship and volunteer work opportunities to those interested in helping the organization.

A Provisional Biography of a Journey Towards Justice for the Enforced Disappeared

There are reportedly over 8,000 cases of enforced disappearances in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. These disappearances began in the 1990s even before the enactment and implementation of The Jammu & Kashmir Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in September 1990, which provides impunity for India’s armed forces.

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Kashmir (APDP) was co-founded in 1994 by Parveena Ahangar with the support of legal professionals and activists as well as the victim families of enforced disappearances. Parvez Imroz, who now heads the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), was part of this co-founding process. APDP is the oldest human rights movement and organisation in Kashmir. This biography focuses on the APDP led by Parveena Ahangar.

Parveena Ahangar’s son, Javaid Ahmed Ahangar was enforced disappeared between the night of the 17th of August and the early morning hours of August 18, 1990. Given this catastrophic event, Parveena Ahangar embarked on journey to search for her son, a journey which led to the formation of APDP and the formation of a movement against enforced disappearances in Kashmir. This biography places this story in the broader political context of Kashmir, discusses the importance of memory for the movement, and the gendered and international context of this movement. The biography ends with some narrative testimonies from APDP members.

Reports

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Press Releases

August 30, 2018 – APDP Press Release

August 30, 2018 – APDP Press Release

APDP commemorates the struggles of the victim families to seek justice. APDP wants the world community to pressurize the Indian state to look into the systemic and systematic enforced disappearances and bring the perpetuators to the book and punish them.
APDP also commemorates thanks the people of Jammu Kashmir for supporting it for the pursuance of justice. Without the peoples help in the movement, the continuing of the demand for justice would not have been possible.

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July 10, 2018 – APDP Press Release

July 10, 2018 – APDP Press Release

Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) welcomes the recent human rights report of United Nations on Kashmir published on 14th June 2018 by the Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) . The OHCHR report highlighted the gross human rights violations done by the military apparatus of India in Kashmir, including enforced disappearances, unlawful killings of the civilians, rapes, torture, unlawful detentions and maiming of civilians by the forces besides other things. The OHCHR recommended to India to take a serious note of these violations and stop them.

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Shujaat Bukhari – APDP Press Release

Shujaat Bukhari – APDP Press Release

Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) condemns the brutal killing of the senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari and stands in solidarity with the bereaved family and extends deep condolences to the family. Attack on journalists is unacceptable and deeply worrying. In the past also, many journalists have been attacked and killed or maimed in Kashmir.

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Awards

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Media Reports

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