Article

PAKISTAN: The appeasement policy — government misses the initiative of taking the armed forces to task

Baseer Naweed  The government of Pakistan — the so called legacy of Bhuttoism — has once again come out in support of our armed forces in an attempt to present them as brave and innocent. The government is reluctant to initiate an independent inquiry commission in the incidents of Abbottabad and Mehran Naval base and […]

PAKISTAN: Acid attacks — five men and seven women attacked during the first four months of 2011

Naghma Iqtidar Acid throwing is a form of violence in which a perpetrator attacks his victim by throwing acid on his or her body. The attack may result in damaging the skin tissues, often exposing and sometimes dissolving the bones. Permanent scarring of the face and body, and blindness are also the consequences of these […]

WORLD: A new Chief Justice for the dying judiciary of Sri Lanka

Basil Fernando  The appointment of the first lady Chief Justice would normally have been a day for great celebrations. However, in the context of the attack on the Sri Lankan judiciary since the adoption of the 1978 Constitution such a celebration would belie the actual situation of the judiciary as well as all the administration […]

PAKISTAN: Eleven persons were killed in the name of honour during the first four months of 2011 in Sindh province

Naghma Iqtidar  An honor killing is the murder of a family member by his or her relatives due to the belief of wrongdoing. These wrongdoings are decided by the family if they think that the dishonor was brought upon them by the victim who are mostly girls and women. Honor killings are still occurring in […]

BANGLADESH: Open Letter to all civil society organizations working on Bangladesh on lessons to be learned from the brutal attack on FMA Razzak

Basil Fernando  The attempted eye gouging incident in at Paikgachha village, where a human rights defender and journalist, FMA Razzak and his brother were attacked by a about 40 persons mobilized by a major in Bangladesh army, Mustafizur Rahman Bokul, is a painful experience to all. It is necessary to learn from this experience so […]

PAKISTAN: Child slavery — 20,000 children with small heads are run by the shrines for beggary

Malik Ayub Sumbal  No one knows about the reality and sad saga of these greenish veiled and shaved head individuals carried by their masters with a chain about their necks to get the sympathies of the masses for the sake of begging. The worst form of slavery in the name of religious tradition has become […]

BANGLADESH: Land grabber and eye gouger Major Mustafizur is still serving with the Bangladesh army

Basil Fernando The attack on FMA Razzak led by Major Mustafizur of the Bangladesh military (BANGLADESH: Army officer’s family gouges eyes and torture after kidnapping Human Rights Defender FMA Razzak, who is going to die without treatment due to pressures from armed forces and intelligence agencies) is now well known. The implications of military officers […]

SRI LANKA: Development and law — noon-day darkness in the country

Basil Fernando  Can there be development in the modern context without law? This is a relevant question in today’s context where is lot of talk of development on one hand but where there is lawlessness in the country. Can development and lawlessness co-exist? In answering this question it is better to have a glance at […]

WORLD: World Social Forum 2011, so intricate, yet perfect

Article | Africa | 18-03-2011

FOR PUBLICATION AHRC-ART-021-2011 March 18, 2011 An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission WORLD: World Social Forum 2011, so intricate, yet perfect The reality of Africa *Sachin Jain This year, the World Social Forum (WSF) raised several new questions but there are many older questions that we still need to find answers to. Since […]

PAKISTAN: The saga of the prisoners waiting in death row

Malik Ayub Sumbal, Islamabad   More than 8000 prisoners sentenced with death by the Pakistani courts during the last two decades are still waiting to meet their fate in the Pakistani death cells. These prisoners have been indulged in long awaited appeals to the Pakistani courts and other complicated judicial matters. According to the data […]

PAKISTAN: No law or code of conduct against the torture that terms it as illegal practice

Malik Ayub Sumbal, Islamabad The notorious Pakistani police torture and violence towards innocent people is not a concealed aspect of the country’s history and the media, civil society activists and human rights organization time and again unveiled the brutal face of these beasts in the police uniform. The Pakistani police is among the most corrupt […]

SRI LANKA: Fighting together against unlawful acts of lawful authorities

Basil Fernando For the last 20 years I have been living in Hong Kong. Here over 98% of the population is Chinese. I belong to the small minority which includes many other races and will try to illustrate some issues by using this experience. In any country there is a formal legal system and an […]

WORLD: The MDG-HR nexus – Need to understand deprivation of civil rights as a cause of poverty

(Some thoughts based on experience in Asia)-   Basil Fernando, Director Policy and Programmes, Asian Legal Resource Centre and Asian Human Rights Commission  This is a summary of a paper submitted to GETTING THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS RIGHT – Towards the founding of an operational framework for the MDG-HR Nexus organized by The Danish Institute for Human Rights […]

WORLD: The major changes in the human rights/international justice field over the last 5-10 years

Article | World | 28-01-2011

Basil Fernando There have been a number of developments in the human rights and international justice fields over the past 5-10 years. However, some very serious problems in the field of human rights and international justice have concurrently arisen. In the human rights field, the founding of the international criminal court was a great achievement. […]

PHILIPPINES: Defects in legal practice and legal aid for the poor

FOR PUBLICATION AHRC-ART-010-2011 January 27, 2011 An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission PHILIPPINES: Defects in legal practice and legal aid for the poor Correspondence with a public attorney exposed the country’s defect in legal practice and legal aid OVERVIEW: On October 12, 2010, the AHRC wrote to Ms. Persida Acosta, the chairperson of […]

SRI LANKA: The anniversary of Prageeth’s disappearance and the Galle Arts Festival — Asian Human Rights Commission

Basil Fernando Prageeth Eknaligoda’s wife and a small group of faithful supporters met representatives of the United Nations yesterday on the occasion of the first anniversary of Prageeth’s disappearance. That the family had to meet representatives of the United Nations and not representatives of the Sri Lankan state is symbolic. It is after any hope […]

SRI LANKA: Views and reflection on the police system’s collapse through the eyes of women

Alarmingly as it may be, it is now a well-known fact that lawlessness has spread to all aspects of public as well as official life in Sri Lanka. The critical role played by the police system is further recognized as being one of the principal factors causing this situation. The failures in the system are […]

SRI LANKA: Without Witness and Victim Protection Legislation, No Hope for Restoration of Justice in Sri Lanka

In November 2010, in Hatton, Sri Lanka, Devarathnam Yogendra cooperated with the Bribery Commission to catch police officer IP Wijesuriya accepting bribes. A representative from the Bribery Commission watched as Wijesuriya accepted a bribe, then arrested him on charges of bribery (Case No.: 50600/01 in the Chief Magistrate’s Court of Colombo). Now Yogendra is being […]

SRI LANKA: Police torture as an indicator of the constitutional degradation of the Rule of Law

Sofie Rordam Sri Lankan citizens are protected against torture and arbitrary arrest in sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. In addition Sri Lanka has ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and Cruel and Inhuman Treatment in 1994. While the legislation is there, the effectuation is not. The gap between […]

SRI LANKA: Two years after the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge — the failure to investigate caused by the police/political nexus

Basil Fernando Two years have passed since one of the most infamous assassinations in Sri Lanka in recent times. The editor of the Sunday Leader and an internationally known journalist, Lasantha Wickrematunge, was killed in an attack that occurred in broad daylight. It is reported that the police have submitted around 50 reports at various […]