Statement

INDIA: Acquittal of Pramod Muthalik and others is a shocking travesty of justice

Statement | India | 15-03-2018

On March 13 2018, the Third Judicial Magistrate at the First Class Court in Mangalore acquitted Pramod Muthalik, and 25 other members of the Sri Rama Sene of the 2009 assault of several women in a Amnesia, a Mangalore pub. The Sri Ram Sene is a right-wing Hindutva group that has previously been involved in […]

INDIA: Stop harassment of anti-trafficking activists in Uttar Pradesh and ensure that the re-trafficked victims are rescued

Statement | India | 06-03-2018

Guria Swayam Sevi Sansthan (Guria), an organization based in Varanasi, has been working against human trafficking and forced prostitution for more than two decades. Guria is AHRC’s partner organisation and in 2016, Guria filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the High Court at Allahabad, seeking guidelines to be issued to the police for the […]

INDONESIA: War against terrorism should respect human rights and the Rule of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a regional, non-governmental, human rights organization in Asia, has learned of the current situation on the war against terrorism in Indonesia. We deplore the action of the Police of the Republic of Indonesia, in particular Special Detachment Anti-Terror Unit (Densus 88). They have not seriously learned from their previous […]

INDONESIA: New Penal Code Bill needs serious revision

Indonesia’s penal code, a legacy of Dutch colonialism, has been discussed for many years in the parliament, resulting in academic papers and draft revisions of the law. Nonetheless, little progress has been achieved, with an official discussion in parliament only beginning in 2015, under President Joko Widodo’s administration. The 100-years-old penal code issued by the […]

CAMBODIA: The Cambodian Senate Elections: A Manifestation of the Government’s Human Rights Neglect

On February 25, 2018, the King, 11,572 commune councilors and 123 National Assembly members are set to elect the 62 members of the Cambodian senate. With the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on 16th November 2017, the seats of CNRP commune councilors have been reallocated for members of the ruling Cambodian People’s […]

INDIA: Protect victims of trafficking along the Indo-Bangladesh border

Statement | India | 20-02-2018

In November of 2017, a series of arrests were made by the Swarupnagar Police Station officials in 24 Parganas(North) West Bengal, India. The first of its kind was that of Ms. Reena Akhtar, later followed by three other women (Ms.Taslima Begum, Ms.Beuti Begum, and Ms. Masuma Begum), and this includes even one who was accompanied […]

PHILIPPINES: Government must cooperate with ICC in line with international obligations

On 8 February 2018, Fatou Bensoula, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague announced her decision “to open a preliminary examination” into the Philippine government’s war on drugs, which ‘potentially falls within the Court’s jurisdiction’ (read full text of her speech here). The Republic of the Philippines is State party to the Rome […]

INDONESIA: The Visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Should Bring Changes

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply appreciates the visit to the Republic of Indonesia of Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It took place between 4 to 7 February 2018. As a regional human rights organization in Asia, we work closely with our partners and various civil society […]

PHILIPPINES: Debate on constitutional change ignores protection of rights

As widely reported, the Philippines House of Representatives (Congress), the country’s legislative body, is lobbying to change the political system by amending the 1987 Constitution. President Rodrigo Duterte’s political allies in Congress are proposing to change from a presidential form of government, to a federal one. The main reasons given for this are twofold: first, to devolve power to local government; second, a federal […]

INDIA: Hunger used to be the biggest humiliation for the republic not long ago.

Statement | India | 26-01-2018

President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the nation, like most of his predecessors at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, took note of persistence of hunger and malnutrition in the country, even more so among the children. He did note that though the republic has made progress in tackling hunger, yet several challenges remain. In his own words […]

INDIA: Judicial transparency and accountability – the nation has a right to know

Statement | India | 22-01-2018

The press conference held by Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph on 12 January 2018 is a watershed event in Indian judicial history. Four of the five most senior judges of the Supreme Court of India, appealed to the conscience of the nation, to intervene, failing which the judges cautioned that […]

INDONESIA: Papua faces health emergency

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is concerned about the health crisis facing Asmat regency in Papua, Indonesia. So far, 68 children have died from measles and serious malnutrition in Asmat. As reported by national media, the measles and malnutrition epidemic has affected 11 districts of Asmat regency: Swator, Aswi, Akat, Fayit, Pulau Tiga, Kolf […]

PAKISTAN: International Court of Justice should intervene in death of Dr. Zafar and ongoing disappearances

Even as Pakistan was still reeling from the Kasur child rape at the beginning of 2018, octogenarian professor Dr. Hasan Zafar Arif was found murdered on January 14. According to news reports, Dr. Zafar’s tortured dead body was found inside his abandoned car, at a deserted place in Karachi. He was missing since Saturday. Though […]

INDIA: Dark days for the Judiciary

Statement | India | 12-01-2018

In a first for India, the 4 senior-most judges of the Supreme Court called for a press meet. Justices Chelameshwar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph held a press meet at the residence of Justice Chelameswar, the second in line after the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra. There was a flurry of speculation on […]

PAKISTAN: Has the country abandoned its children?

Seven-year-old Zainab from Punjab Province’s Kasur District could not have foreseen her life cut short, but the Punjab Government and law enforcement were aware of the statistics; 11 children abused every day. During the past 12 months, 12 girls between the ages of five and eight have been killed in the area where Zainab’s dead […]

NEPAL: Prominent activist arrested for contempt of court

Prominent activist Dr. Govinda K.C. was arrested for contempt of court on the evening of 8 January 2018. Prior to his arrest, he issued a press statement demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli, for reinstating Dr. Sashi Sharma as the Dean of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dr. K.C. also accused Chief Justice […]

PAKISTAN: Enforced disappearances and violations of religious freedoms becoming point of isolation in world community

Pakistan has recently been placed on a special watch list for severe violations of religious freedom by the United States’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. This was done under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. A brief announcement by the United States’ State Department said that for the first time it has created a […]

ASIA: The world got hungrier in 2017

Statement | Asia | 04-01-2018

Going by the human rights situation across the world, 2017 has not been a particularly good year. Despots were ‘elected’ in many countries, old armed conflicts continued while new conflicts began, and those defending human rights faced increased threats and harassment. 2017 was also the year that saw hunger levels rising—even if only slightly—after decades […]

Asia: Christmas message for 2017

Statement | Asia | 22-12-2017

By Basil Fernando Thinking purely in symbolic terms, Christmas celebrates a fascinating event. Jesus was born in a cattle shed. This was where sheep slept. From a power point of view, it was so completely different from the way other religious or political leaders are presented to the world. Links to royalty or nobility, or […]

PAKISTAN: Judicial sobriety and constitutionally defined roles have taken a back seat

Democracy and judicial institutions in Pakistan have long been strange bedfellows, with the pillars of the state unable to refrain from transcending their area of power. Either the bureaucracy or the judges, who are increasingly toeing the realm of popularism have, never understood the separation of powers, as provided in the Constitution. They are forgoing […]