Administration of justice

SRI LANKA: Another innocent man is killed by police torture? who will be the next victim?

The case of Don Wijerathna Munasinghe, who was arrested on 10 April 2005 and subsequently died of injuries allegedly received at the Maharagama Police Station, received wide publicity in the media.?The alleged reason for his arrest was that he did not stop his three-wheeler vehicle when instructed to do so by the police.?The following morning […]

PHILIPPINES: Unrestrained killings of activists in Philippines demand immediate government action

Since January 2005, at least 18 human rights and political activists have killed or disappeared in the Philippines. The latest reported attack was on Alden Ambida, a provincial coordinator of the opposition Bayan Muna party in Eastern Samar this April 11. He is now fighting for his life in hospital. In March, three other Bayan […]

UPDATE (India): Government lawyer threatens witnesses to protect accused police officers

Dear friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is gravely concerned to hear that even though Partha Majumder disappeared on 5 September 1997 and his family has been fighting a battle to ensure justice ever since, the accused are still at large. (See further UA-171-2004). Furthermore, a complaint has been submitted by the victim’s brother, Mr […]

ASIA: Three countries in human rights limbo: Nepal, Burma/Myanmar and Cambodia

As the Sixty-first Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is taking place in Geneva, we would like to draw attention to the colossal absence of human rights in three countries in the Asia region.  The countries are Nepal, Burma/Myanmar and Cambodia.  While Burma/Myanmar and Cambodia have been on this list for quite […]

NEPAL: Time to act: State-sponsored mob violence unleashed in Nepal

Statement | Nepal | 08-03-2005

The government of King Gyanendra in Nepal, who took absolute power on February 1, is now mobilising military-backed mobs to engage in extreme acts of violence on the pretext of fighting Maoists. The army-orchestrated burning of hundreds of homes and lynching of about 30 alleged Maoists in Kapilvastu district are methods of control all too […]

SRI LANKA: Gerald Perera’s murder trial may not begin for another 5-7 years

While the murder case of Judge Ambepitiya–who was killed two days before Gerald Perera was shot–is already fixed for trial at bar, it may take 5-7 years–or even more–before Gerald’s case is even begun to be heard at the high court. Despite Gerald being a witness waiting to give evidence in a criminal case when […]

SRI LANKA: Independence Day: An opportunity for fundamental change in Sri Lanka

This year’s Independence Day is celebrated amidst a complex background. The disastrous consequences of the 26 December 2004 tsunami have merely added to the burdens faced by Sri Lanka’s political and legal systems due to the authoritarian model of governance introduced through the 1978 constitution, which gave rise to conflicts in the south, north and […]

THAILAND: When the purpose of an inquiry is to achieve nothing

Nearly a week has passed since the Thai Ministry of Defence announced the setting up of a panel to investigate three officers implicated in the killing of at least 85 persons by security forces in Narathiwat last October 2004. The men stand accused of having “mishandled” a protest outside the Tak Bai police station, leading […]

CAMBODIA: The arrest of a senior politician committed to human rights and another prominent human rights activist on December 31, 2005 for organising human rights day activities on December 10

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is writing to direct your attention to the serious human rights violations committed by the arrest of Mr Kem Sokha and Mr Yeng Virak on December 31, 2005. Mr Kem Sokha is a senior Cambodian politician, who has been a member of parliament since its inception in 1993 after […]

NEPAL: UN Secretary General’s statement a vital opportunity to end the misery of Nepalese People

Statement | Nepal | 24-12-2004

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) shares the concerns expressed by the Secretary General of the United Nations in his statement on the human rights situation in Nepal. Time and again the AHRC has stressed that regional governments such as India, international governments and bodies such as European Union, national political parties and the King […]

SRI LANKA: Lives of torture victims endangered due to the lack of witness protection

On the 21 November 2004, Gerald Mervin Perera, victim of a well-known torture case was shot as he was travelling to work in a bus in the early hours of the morning.  In his pocket was the summons issued by the High Court of Negombo, summoning him to give evidence in a torture case against […]

INDIA: A disappeared victim’s mother’s seven year search for justice; Fair trial and urgent protection required

Dear friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a human rights organization in West Bengal, that 11 police officers, allegedly involved in the disappearance of Partha Majumdar seven years ago, have been charged by the Additional District and Session Judge, 1st Court at Barasat, through Partha’s family’s […]

SRI LANKA: Contempt of justice causes legalised cruelty

It emerged over the weekend that there had been some kind of deal to keep a former Sri Lankan government minister out of jail on contempt of court charges, but it fell through. Reaction to the jailing of S B Dissanayake for two years on December 7 concentrated on the fact that this deal had […]

Collapsed rule of law buries the foundations of human rights: The AHRC International Human Rights Day Statement 2004

As we commemorate International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2004, the state of human rights in most countries of Asia is very bleak. Without serious efforts to defend these principles, life in a great many parts of the region will rapidly grow dramatically worse. The major threat to human rights in the region has […]

SRI LANKA: A hierarchy of Justice? The CID investigation into Gerald Perera’s killing is dragging its feet

It has now been eighteen days since the shooting of Gerald Perera in broad daylight, while he was travelling to work on a bus. Gerald died three days later, on November 24th, from the injuries that he had sustained during this attack. Although the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is now enquiring into the case – […]

SRI LANKA: Call for Inquiry Commission to Probe into Security Issues relating to the Assassination of Judge Ambepitiya

The assassination of the High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya took place on the 19th of November. To date, no one has owned up to the responsibility for the failure to provide security to the Judge, who held senior position in the judiciary. In any democracy or in any country that respects the rule of law, […]

SRI LANKA: Stand by Sri Lankan Bar Association must be reconsidered

Several newspapers reported on 29 November 2004 that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has taken a stand to instruct lawyers not to appear for those persons accused of the murder of a Colombo High Court judge. Its president, Ikram Mohamed, is reported to have said that although every suspect has the right to retain […]

SRI LANKA: Still no arrests in Sri Lanka torture victim murder case

It is now five days since the shooting of Gerald Mervin Perera, who died yesterday, November 24. However, as yet there have been no arrests. Nor have there been any reports of progress in investigations. In fact, there do not appear to be any serious inquiries at all. As Gerald Perera was due to stand […]

UPDATE (India): Witness protection required for Gujarat victims and witnesses

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to inform you the need for the Indian Government to provide witness protection in all trials related to the Gujarat pogrom.   Over 2,000 Indian citizens were killed in Gujarat in the weeks and months following 28 February 2002.  It is not known how many women and girls were […]

SRI LANKA: Jaffna Police assault Human Rights Commission staff and UN Volunteer

The Officer-in-Charge of the Jaffna office of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka and a UN volunteer were assaulted yesterday, September 27, 2004, as they were engaged in inquiring about a complaint of torture at the Jaffna Police Station. In an interview to the Sinhala Service of the BBC, Sandeshaya, the HRC officer […]