Conference on forced disappearances

  • Date and time: Thursday 10 November 2011, 3.00pm to 8.00pm
  • Location: Ron Cooke Hub and Law and Management building
  • Admission: Admission is by free ticket only

Event details

Centre for Applied Human Rights and Amnesty International lecture

Please note that individual tickets are required for either the film and/or the talks.

15.00 Film screening “Between joy and remembrance”. Mark Kaplan

Room: Ron Cooke Hub – RCH248/250

22-year-old student leader and activist Siphiwo Mtimkulu and his friend Topsy Madaka were shot and burned in 1982 by the apartheid era Security Police in South Africa. Filmmaker Mark Kaplan documented the case for three years, expertly portraying the complex nature of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Q&A: Panel chaired by Paul Gready, Centre for Applied Human Rights, and Barbara Lodge, Amnesty International.

Admission by free ticket only from

18.00 Horacio Verbitsky:
“Forced disappearances in Argentina during the last dictatorship (1976-1983)”

Room: RCH/037 (moved from the previously advertised LMB/002X)

Horacio Verbitsky (born 1942 in Buenos Aires) is a prominent Argentinian investigative journalist and author. He is a political columnist with the Argentine newspaper Página/12, a member of Human Rights Watch/Americas and of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. He was also a member of the Board of the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano for 10 years chaired by Gabriel García Márquez.

Since 2000 he has served as Director over the Argentine human rights organization the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (CELS). In March 2001 a joint case brought by CELS and the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo succeeded in overturning the pardon laws relating to the past dictatorship. This ruling was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2005 and has subsequently enabled 262 convictions for gross human rights violations from that period.

His 20 books on political, social, economic, military, ecclesiastical and human rights subjects have had a strong impact in the public agenda. "Civil society and the military. Secret memories of the transition" is about the trial of former Military Junta leaders and Raúl Alfonsin's Pardon Act; "The Flight. Confessions of a dirty-warrior" contains the chilling confession of a former Argentine Navy officer who threw 30 living people out of naval planes into the ocean during the so-called dirty-war. His recent books include a political history of the Catholic Church in Argentina. Verbitsky was awarded the Prize of the Latin American Studies Association for “best long term journalistic coverage in Latin America”, for “his absolutely essential role in the investigation of human rights violations under the military regime and of corruption under constitutional governments”.

19.00     Yolanda Foster from Amnesty International:
Sri Lanka: Disappearance as a counterinsurgency tool
Room: RCH/037

Sri Lanka’s government officials have exhibited a consistent lack of political will to punish perpetrators of serious human rights violations. It has maintained its reliance on special security legislation to circumvent normal laws that might protect against arbitrary arrest and detention and thus prevent enforced disappearances and also failed to adopt appropriate legislation on enforced disappearances. This lack of political will coupled with a culture of impunity has allowed for tens of thousands of disappearance cases to go unresolved in the country.

19:45 Conclusion.

Admission by free ticket only from

Various speakers