PAKISTAN: Fishermen on both sides of the Pak-India maritime borders are treated as prisoners of war — A story of tears…

Qurat Mirza “We are the prisoners of war… Our dreams have been doctored. We belong nowhere. We sail unanchored on trouble seas. We may never be allowed ashore. Our sorrows will never be sad enough. Our joys never be happy enough. Our dreams are never big enough. Our lives are never important enough, to matter.” (God […]

PAKISTAN: The courts and the government bear responsibility for extrajudicial killings in military torture cells

By Baseer Naveed The disappearances, killings in military detention centers and dumping of bullet-riddled bodies including torture marks on the bodies of the victims, by the spy agencies particularly by ISI and military intelligence are no longer a secret. This was exposed during the case of Abdul Saboor (29), which was taken in custody illegally […]

PAKISTAN: Genocide of main source for the lively hood of fishing community

By Qurat Mirza Mangrove tree is a specialized marine ecosystem consisting of a group of plants growing in muddy, loose and wet soils in tropical and sub-tropical areas, comprising of shallow, coastal waters, deltas and estuaries or lagoons. The specific regions where these plants occur are termed as ‘mangrove ecosystem’. These are highly productive, if […]

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 […]