Democracy

SRI LANKA: Release poet and drop spurious charges against him

The arrest and ongoing detention of award-winning author and poet Shakthika Sathkumara on spurious charges are a clear violation of his right to freedom of expression, CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance and the Asian Human Right Commission (AHRC), said today ahead of his next court hearing on 18 June. Shakthika Sathkumara was arrested on 1 April […]

THAILAND: The Attacks of Political Activists

A Statement from The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission 4 June 2019 In pursuance to a string of recent attacks of at least three pro-democracy activists including Aekachai Hongkangwan who was physically assaulted seven times and had his car set on fire twice since early 2018, and of […]

NEPAL: New laws and policies aim to throttle the NHRC, media, and civil society

Statement | Nepal | 31-05-2019

The government of Nepal has been repeatedly throttling the civil society, media and human rights organizations in Nepal. Even the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has now come under its ambit. The present government, led by the Nepal Communist Party, does not like civil society questioning its business. In an attempt to silence critical voices, […]

INDONESIA: A Review of the Indonesian Government’s Obligation under International Human Rights Instruments in Regard to the Truth, Remedy and Justice of Gross Violations of Human Rights

Paper | Indonesia | 30-05-2019

Written by Chrisbiantoro1 Introduction As a member of the United Nations (UN)2, Indonesia has ratified at least six major international human rights treaties3. Currently, Indonesia is a member of the UN Human Rights Council [HRC]4, therefore, it has obligations to increase the standard of human rights protection in its territory under the resolution of the […]

BANGLADESH: Human Rights Defender tortured while in arbitrary detention must be released and charges be dropped

Bangladesh authorities must immediately release human rights defender Mohammad Abdul Kaium, who has been allegedly tortured in custody during his arbitrary detention. The fabricated case filed against him under the Digital Security Act (DSA)-2018 and other penal laws should be dropped immediately. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has verified information that Mohammad Abdul Kaium, a human […]

SRI LANKA: Extinct legal system caused security crisis resulting in Easter Sunday carnage

According to Sri Lankan Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake, the present security crisis facing the country was a result of the failures of many government institutions. In a television interview available on YouTube, he cited foreign exchange control failures to monitor money coming into the country, Customs Department failures, and intelligence coordination failures. Aside from these […]

SRI LANKA: Debate on restoring security is diverted to suit political ends

Late Mr. Tarzie Vittachithe, winner of many prestigious awards for journalism, had a favourite saying that, “Everything is about something else”. In a similar manner, the parliamentary discussion on two no-confidence motions is also clearly about other issues, rather than the brutal carnage that took place on Easter Sunday and the causes thereof. The government […]

SOUTH KOREA: Gwangju 2019 Human Rights Awards Ceremony and the People’s Forum on State Violence

Gwangju, May 21, 2019 On the May 18th, at the Gwangju city, the May 18 Memorial Foundation held the annual human rights award ceremony followed by people’s forum “Genocide and Refugee: State Violence and State Responsibility to Protect Its People”, on 18 and 19 May. The photos and documents relating to this event are now […]

AHRC TV: Clashes in Hong Kong legislature over extradition bill and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 258

This week Just Asia begins with Hong Kong, where clashes occurred at the legislature on Tuesday morning over vetting the controversial extradition bill. Opponents and supporters of the bill have been trying to lead the bills meeting after a split over the legitimacy of the temporary chairperson of the bills committee. Since Hong Kong’s government […]

SRI LANKA: Facing not merely a security problem but also an acute constitutional crisis

Although there was a two day parliamentary debate held to discuss the Easter Sunday carnage caused by the bombs that were exploded in three churches and several tourist hotels, no consensus has yet emerged as to the primary causes that led to the complete breakdown of the security situation and such an abject failure on […]

AHRC TV: Burma frees Reuters’ journalists and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 257

This week Just Asia begins with Burma, where two Reuters reporters have been freed by a presidential amnesty. Wa Lone, 33 and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29 had spent more than 500 days in prison, after being convicted under the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in jail last September. Their jailing was seen […]

SRI LANKA: Internal Causes for Easter Sunday Carnage

Much is talked about the external factors behind the worst attacks on human lives experienced in Sri Lankan history within a single day. This search for understanding the external causes, the organizations and the individuals within, is amply justified. However, that does not explain why it was possible to organise the attacks on that day. […]

SRI LANKA: AHRC’s Letter to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on Sri Lanka Easter Sunday Attacks on Churches and Hotels

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Archbishop’s House, Colombo – 8, Sri Lanka Phone: +94 11-2695471-2-3 / 2696054 Fax: +94 11-2692009 Email: archbishop@sltnet.lk / cardinalmalcolm@gmail.com  Dear Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, On behalf of the Asian Human Rights Commission, we are writing to express our solidarity with the Catholic community in Sri Lanka, as well as the entire Sri Lankan people, who have […]

AHRC TV: Sri Lanka mourns worst attack since civil war and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 256

This week Just Asia begins with Sri Lanka, which has been traumatized by a series of coordinated bombings on Easter Sunday. More than 350 people were killed and at least 500 wounded in the deadliest attack in Sri Lanka since the end of the civil war 10 years ago. The dead included at least 45 […]

SRI LANKA: Expression of solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns the brutal attacks on several churches in Sri Lanka, which killed a large number of persons attending Easter Sunday mass. There were also attacks on several tourist hotels, killing about 32 foreign tourists. This tragedy has shocked and distressed the entire nation, with lamentations heard from so many […]

WORLD: International justice is crucial to durable solutions to the Rohingya crisis

Regional human rights groups mapped key strategies targeting that the Rohingya people are at the centre of moves. Rights activists and professionals called the international community to expedite justice for atrocity crimes including genocide and crimes against humanity that have forced most of the community to flee Myanmar. The strategic actions are believed to empower […]

AHRC TV: Hong Kong goes ahead with extradition law and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 255

This week Just Asia begins with Hong Kong, where Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government will not drop the controversial amendment to the territory’s extradition laws, despite 12,000 people marching against it last Sunday. The amendment allowing Hong Kong to extradite to other countries, including China, on a case by case basis, was to […]

INDIA: From women killed in wombs, to women without wombs

By Avinash Pandey A newspaper carrying a story titled, “Why many women in Maharashtra’s Beed district have no wombs” should have shocked India despite the current electoral frenzy the country is undergoing due to parliamentary elections. The story had all the elements to stir the conscience of even the countries not famous for any democratic […]

MALAYSIA: World Community must stand up to coup concerns

A leading minister of the Government of Malaysia has noted the imminent possibility of a coup led by conservative and right wing elements. This is in retaliation for the limited amount of reforms in favour of democracy and rule of law brought about by Mohammed Mahathir’s government after his recent election victory. Over a long […]

AHRC TV: Police in Philippines shoot dead 14 farmers and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 254

This week Just Asia begins with the Philippines, where police shot dead 14 farmers in Negros island on Sunday. While rights groups called this a ‘massacre’, authorities said it was a legitimate operation against suspected communist rebels. According to the police, the 14 men shot at officers with search warrants for illegal firearms, prompting them […]