PAKISTAN: Uzma Ayub, the rape victim, gives birth to baby girl: what next?

Another challenge to the conscience of humanity Uzma Ayub, a rape victim from Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkha province, gave birth to a baby girl at a local hospital in Peshawar at 11:45pm on January 20.  Bilqees Begun, Uzma’s mother told this scribe on the phone that Uzma complained of having labour pains in the evening and […]

ASIA: How can lawyers caught up in a dysfunctional system change the situation?

ASIA: How can lawyers caught up in a dysfunctional system change the situation?1 Basil Fernando 2 This is the text of a speech delivered at the 2nd ICJ Geneva Forum of Judges and Lawyers, held in Geneva on December 5-6, 2011. Countries transitioning to democracy often have to cope with fragile and dysfunctional political, economic and legal […]

PAKISTAN: Teen-age girl in the driving seat to get rid of the loans taken for treatment of her father

Farzana Ali Khan ”Those who are really concerned about me must pay a serious attention while those do not care should not waste their time by coming to me.” Can you believe, who said this? These are the words of a nine-year old girl Wajeeha, a student of grade II from Tangi town of Charsadda […]

SRI LANKA: Report on the examination of the third and fourth periodic reports of Sri Lanka by the UN Committee against Torture

First round The Committee against Torture (hereinafter – “the Committee”), presided over by Mr Claudio GROSSMAN1 , began its consideration of the third and fourth periodic reports submitted by Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 19 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter – “the Convention”) on 8 November […]

PAKISTAN: Custom of child marriages violates human rights law, mock UN conventions!

11 year old Irum Naz was married with 61 year old man and she curses her parents day and night for putting their own daughter to misery Farzana Ali Khan  Throughout the world, marriage is regarded as a moment of celebration and a milestone in adult life. Sadly, as this article makes clear, the practice […]

PAKISTAN: Domestic violence is the most under-reported crime and condoned by social customs

Farzana Ali Khan Violence against women is a major health and human rights concern in Pakistan. Women can experience sexual, physical or mental abuse throughout their life cycle, in infancy, childhood and during adulthood or older age. Violence against women has severe physical and psychological consequences and as a social problem warrants an immediate coordinated […]

PAKISTAN: A teenage Nobel Prize nominee leads the struggle for the education of girls

Farzana Ali Khan SWAT: Despite losing the Nobel Peace Laureate prize, Malalai Yousafzai, a grade 8 student from Gulkada, Mingora is determined to fight for the education of girls and fulfill the noble cause for which she has raised her voice. Malalai was one of the five nominees chosen out of 98 children that were […]

PAKISTAN: Breaking the Shackles!

Farzana Ali khan A change in society is improbable as inadequate educational facilities for girls and the low level of industrial development make life difficult for women while stringent laws make Pashtoon women less visible. Pushtoons are residing in Khyber Paktunkha province of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  There is a line in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet: […]

PAKISTAN: A single mother’s battle with her unborn child

Baseer Naweed Miss Uzma Ayub, a single mother, who was repeatedly raped whilst being held captive by an army soldier and three police officials during an entire year, is currently seven months pregnant and will give birth soon. She hates her unborn child but does not want to abort it; because she says she respects […]

SRI LANKA: The truth at Nandikadal needs to be part of a wider process of justice

Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena  Central to any discussion on accountability in Sri Lanka is recognition of the fact that what happened in Nandikadal in May 2009 during the last stages of the fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and government troops needs to be part of a wider and more inclusive process of justice in […]

HONG KONG: The importance of ‘right of abode’ ruling

The importance of the ruling of Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance (Vallejos Evangeline b. v. Commissioner of Registration and Another), that held as unconstitutional, the exclusion of domestic workers to qualify as permanent residents, is beyond the debate of legality and constitutionality. The debate should also explore this question: why would a citizen of […]

SRI LANKA: Lifting of Emergency — Exposing the sham exercise

JC Weliamuna, LLM (Colombo) Human Rights & Constitutional Lawyer, Eisenhower Fellow, Senior Ashoka Fellow Much has been said about the recent decision of the Government to end the Emergency in Sri Lanka. Some welcomed the move and others are yet to make any pronouncements. This short essay is an attempt to examine the implications of […]

PAKISTAN: Devastating floods and the criminal negligence of the authorities

What plans are underway to deal with the aftermath of this year’s flood?   Baseer Naveed with Stewart Sloan Ongoing flooding due to monsoon rains has inundated the entirety of the Sindh province causing billions of Rupees in damage and the loss of crops alone is estimated to be Rs. 5.6 billion. The people in […]

WORLD: A unique regional initiative: The Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment

Article | World | 15-09-2011

Erik Wendt & Therese Rytter, Rehabilitation & Research Centre for Torture Victims, Denmark It is well documented that torture, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial executions are carried out throughout Asia by agents of the state, notably police, military, and special investigation units, who expose ordinary citizens to such heinous crimes in complete disregard of national legislation. […]

WORLD: The AHRC and RCT launches the Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment (AAATI)

Article | World | 09-09-2011

The Asian Human Rights Commission is happy to announce the launching of the Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment (AAATI). Kindly see the attached video on this launch at: For more details about the AAATI kindly see the article below: Why the Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment Basil Fernando, Director, Policy & Programme […]

PHILIPPINES: A stranger’s thoughts of a place in her country

As a Filipino, born and raised in Manila, it is a shame to say that on my first trip to Mindanao I felt mixed emotions. I was happy because I had the opportunity of travelling to this part of the country, but I was also worried due to the stories of war in that land […]

PHILIPPINES: Medical practice–the poor are likely to die

By Danilo Reyes  The common phrase that the poor suffers the most, in all aspects of life, is not difficult to comprehend. But no one could ever grasp the depth of the poor’s suffering in a life in which he was conditioned to live. It is not like an experimental exposure where a person can […]

PHILIPPINES: Absence of protection thrives for decades

By Danilo Reyes  I can still remember images of twenty years ago when my mother (now a retired public school teacher) and I travelled on a night bus from our hometown to Cotabato City. In those days our hometown was about six to seven hours away. The travel time would be shorter now as the […]

PAKISTAN: One year after the floods-women continue their struggle to rebuild their lives & livelihoods

FOR PUBLICATION  AHRC-ART-046-2011  August 24, 2011 An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission PAKISTAN: One year after the floods-women continue their struggle to rebuild their lives & livelihoods By Bushra Khaliq  One year ago during the months of July and August the floodwaters that ravaged the southern parts of Pakistan have long receded. Though […]

SRI LANKA: Photos of Razeek’s exhumation

A collection of photos from activists in Sri Lanka published by the Asian Human Rights Commission The AHRC has received the following photos from the exhumation of disappeared human rights activist Mr. Pattini Razeek in Sri Lanka from a local source. Please also read our earlier statement on the case: SRI LANKA: The body of […]