Statement

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 […]

INDONESIA: National Commission on Human Rights Must Investigate the Sape Bima Case

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has learned about an alleged case of crimes against humanity. It took place on 24 December 2011 in Sape Port, Lambu sub-district, Bima Regency, West Nusa Tenggara Province. Based upon investigations, a report was issued by the Commission for the Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KontraS), a national, prominent, […]

PAKISTAN: Clemency is no way to curb terrorism

Glamorizing terrorists as born again saviours of humanity is the new tactic adopted by the state to abet home grown terrorism The month of December in Pakistan is akin to March for the Romans, when an empire was brought down. The historic day of December 16 has been particularly bloody, as it was on this […]

BANGLADESH: Abused independence deepens problems

Bangladesh celebrates its National Martyred Intellectuals Day today, 14 December 2017. The country recalls the martyrdom of some of its citizens who had high professional integrity at the time–1971. The Pakistani occupying forces and their local collaborators were known to be involved in abducting intellectuals. This included physicians, academics, journalists, and writers. The occupying forces […]

INDIA: Living up to 102 years not enough to find justice

Statement | India | 13-12-2017

Mrs. Amar Kaur lived a long life and died on 12 December 2017 at the age of 102. What is important about Mrs. Kaur is not just the advanced age into which she lived. Kaur is one of the prime witnesses in a case of disappearance and alleged murder that was reported in 1994 from […]

INDIA: Odisha government must return the land acquired for POSCO to its original owners

Statement | India | 12-12-2017

In 2005, the South Korean-based Pohang Steel Company (POSCO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of the state of Odisha. The MoU involved the building of a steel plant having 12 million tonne annual capacity, along with a captive port and an iron ore mine, for which POSCO required an estimated 4,000 acres of land, including […]

INDONESIA: Human rights merely acknowledged, not yet protected

On the occasion of international human rights day, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) observes the major human rights issues of concern in Indonesia. Impunity and a fragile criminal justice system have let down victims of human rights abuse and those seeking justice. According to research by the Indonesian Legal Roundtable (ILR), Indonesia’s rule of […]

PAKISTAN: Statement on the occasion of International Day for human rights

Pakistan is a signatory to several international human rights conventions. The country has in its constitution a good set of fundamental rights. Yet, the human rights situation in Pakistan is deteriorating. All human rights are violated in Pakistan with impunity. Rights of women and children; access to justice; labour rights; rights to: housing, life and fair trial, education, […]

INDIA: Judiciary fails to stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Statement | India | 08-12-2017

December 10 is Human Rights Day, and this year will celebrate 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The theme this year is “let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity”, a fitting exhortation for the year ahead in India. For the ordinary person in India, the High courts and the […]

NEPAL: Government must move beyond partisan interests for realization of rights

In 2017, Nepal saw local elections taking place in the country after more than two decades. Federal Parliament and Provincial Assembly elections were also conducted this year. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the government of Nepal for successfully completing the elections. Voter turnout was high in response to the lack of effective political […]

BANGLADESH/MYANMAR: An agreement to stifle witnesses and that will not end the crisis

The governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar have signed a bilateral arrangement concerning the repatriation of the Rohingya from camps in Bangladesh to Rakhine state in Myanmar. The agreement was signed by both governments on 23 November 2017 at Nay Pyi Taw. The bilateral agreement is only a first step in recognising the crisis. The agreement however does […]

INDIA: Farmers in border areas must be allowed access to their lands

Statement | India | 04-12-2017

The border regions of India are manned by members of the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, who are always heavily armed, and wield significant power over the residents of these border villages. Recent events have demonstrated the highhandedness of these personnel in dealing with civilians. The primary occupation of the residents of the village is […]