SRI LANKA: A Law To Encourage And Reward Torture – A Comment On The Bill On Organized Crime

——————–The justice system of Sri Lanka: What a damn mess—————— A Bill entitled Prevention of Organized Crime was gazetted on 24 January 2003. There was hardly any publicity to the Bill and thus there was no public debate on the matter. The speaker presented it to the Supreme Court for opinion on constitutionality and two […]

Ambedkar’s Relevance to the Global Democratisation Debate

Statement | | 14-04-2003

Ambedkar’s Anniversary 2003 The work of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been very much influenced by the work of B. R. Ambedkar, who in recent history was the undisputed leader of the Dalits (formally called Untouchables) and perhaps the most far-reaching thinker about democratisation in South Asia. It is the latter aspect upon […]

IRAQ: Worse than tyranny is colonialism; worse than dictatorship is anarchy

Statement | Asia | 13-04-2003

The people of Iraq have endured a war of great cruelty in the name of their liberation. What they now get is not liberation but colonialism, which is worse than tyranny and war combined.¬† Having been offered no part in all this, other than as a cheer squad, people have responded by grabbing whatever they […]

THAILAND: Why has the rule of law been made a victim of Thailand’s anti-drug campaign?

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission – AHRC Why has the rule of law been made a victim of Thailand’s anti-drug campaign? Since February, when the government of Thailand opened the way for alleged drug traffickers to be murdered with impunity, over 2000 persons have been killed. This relentless carnage poses an enormous […]

SRI LANKA: Highest compensation to date awarded Sri Lanka torture victim

HONG KONG, Friday, April 4, 2003: The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka today awarded a torture victim a record amount in compensation. In the case of Gerald Perera, who was tortured by a group of police of the Wattala station on June 3, 2002, the Court awarded 800,000 Rupees cash, and full medical costs. Mr […]

SRI LANKA: On the misconduct of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Sarath Silva

In the addendum to his 2003 report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Mr. Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy stated that he continues to be concerned over the allegations of misconduct on the part of the Chief Justice [of Sri Lanka] Sarah Silva, the latest being […]

IRAQ: As terrible madness unfolds in Iraq, we are all at war

Statement | Asia | 20-03-2003

The Asian Human Rights Charter guarantees all persons the right to live in peace, and stresses that this right “can be guaranteed only if states are accountable to the international community”. The war that the United States has launched on Iraq this week has not only breached this right, but also entirely undermined the means […]

SRI LANKA: Regarding the torture and contempt of court case of Anthony Michael Fernando

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has carefully studied the complaint of torture made by Anthony Michael Emmanuel Fernando on 16 February 2003 and the previous contempt of court case against him. We reproduce below the full judgement (Ref: S.C.(F/F) No. 55/2003 or 6 February 2003) of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on the […]

SRI LANKA: The Judiciary and Human Rights

We are forwarding a statement from the Free Media Movement in Sri Lanka regarding a very extraordinary incident. A man who has filed a fundamental (human) rights application at the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka was directed to file his case in another court. He later filed a further motion at the same court, in […]

CAMBODIA: Ten years after UNTAC, not an inch of progress in Cambodia’s rule of law

The total destruction of the Thai embassy and businesses in Phnom Penh on January 29, widely reported by the international media, does not come as a surprise to anyone who has worked on the Cambodian justice system since the elections of 1993 under the UN Transitional Authority for Cambodia (UNTAC). These events reveal that there […]


TORTURE AND CYANIDE: A RESPONSE TO “IS TORTURE EVER JUSTIFIED” — Basil Fernando, AHRC Note: The following letter, dated 14 January 2003, was written to the Economist magazine in reply to its January 11 cover story, “Is torture ever justified?” The opinion column from that edition is currently available online at ——————– Dear Sir/Madam […]

SRI LANKA: The National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Has Used Its Powers to Bite the Victims and Not the Perpetrators

ASIAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM 2002 – The Session on National Human Rights Commissions (December 10, 2002) National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka; A Disappointing Institution The Sri Lankan Commission Has Used Its Powers (Teeth) to Bite the Victims and Not the Perpetrators. The National Human Rights Commissions (NHRC) built on the basis of the […]

AHRC HUMAN RIGHTS DAY STATEMENT – Effective Remedies Are Ineffective in Asia

Statement | Asia | 09-12-2002

AHRC HUMAN RIGHTS DAY STATEMENT Effective Remedies Are Ineffective in Asia Governments Ignore U.N. Human Rights Conventions and Domestic Laws Asian Human Rights Commission December 10, 2002 1. INTRODUCTION 2. COMMUNAL VIOLENCE 3. DISCRIMINATION BASED ON CASTE AND GENDER 4. UNPROTECTED REFUGEES 5. WAR AND RIGHTS 6. ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS 7. SECURITY LAWS […]


The Article 11 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh states that; “The Republic shall be a democracy in which fundamental human rights and freedoms and respect for the dignity and worth of the human person shall be guaranteed [and in which effective participation by the people through their elected representatives in administration […]

HONG KONG: AHRC Submits Concerns about Proposed Article 23 Legislation to Legco

AHRC Submits Concerns about Proposed Article 23 Legislation to Legco: Article 23 May Diminish Rule of Law and Increase Corrupt Practices The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has grave concerns about the Hong Kong government’s consultation document “Proposals to Implement Article 23 of the Basic Law” that was released for a three-month consultation period on […]

INDONESIA: Attorney General’s Office Providing a ‘Fountain of Impunity’

INDONESIA: Attorney General’s Office Providing a ‘Fountain of Impunity’¬† Weeks after Indonesia’s ad hoc human rights court handed down a \”not guilty\” verdict to six officials suspected of aiding a slaughter in the Ave Maria Church in Suai, East Timor, the attorney general of Indonesia has finally turned his extreme embarrassment into action. Attorney General […]

SRI LANKA: Complications Develop in the Prosecution of Perpetrators

Update: The Torture Case of Ms. H.P. Nandini Sriyatha Heart; Complications Develop in the Prosecution of Perpetrators In AHRC’s last communication on this matter, AHRC informed of a letter it had received from the Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka, stating that the case had been referred the Prosecution of Perpetrators of Torture Unit, functioning […]

SRI LANKA: Woman Torture Victim Vindicated by Supreme Court

On Aug. 2, 2002, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka declared a judgement in favour of Angeline Roshana, a 25-year-old woman who complained to the court of being tortured, illegally arrested and illegally detained by Inspector Selvin Saleh, officer in charge (OIC) of the Crimes Division of the Narahenpita police. The court held that her […]

SRI LANKA: A Demonstration by Victims of Torture to Create Public Awareness Today

Update on Campaign to Prosecute Torture Perpetrators¬† Today a demonstration by torture victims will be held at the UDHR Monument on Bullers Road in Colombo to create public awareness about the widespread practice of torture and to gain public support to implement Sri Lanka’s law against torture through the prosecution of perpetrators and through compensation […]

SRI LANKA: Nandini Sriyalatha Herat’s Complaint of Torture is to be Investigated by CID

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is happy to learn that The Prosecution of Torture Perpetrators Unit of the Attorney General’s Department has forwarded the information provided by AHRC on the torture of H.P. Nandini S.Herat to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and asked CID to conduct a criminal investigation into the allegation. The letter […]