Freedom of assembly

PAKISTAN: State infringes upon the people’s right to freedom of speech

By Javeria Younes Intellectual freedom has always been viewed as a threat to hegemonic and tyrannical government, for whom dissent in any form is unacceptable, as it shakes the very foundation upon which the tyrannical status quo rests. Ideas and ideologies encompassing freedom and equality for the masses are always dangerous, as the existence of […]

SRI LANKA: Beginning of a New Peoples’ Movement Targeting Large-Scale Membership

By Basil Fernando I have had the privilege of witnessing the birth of an initiative to create a people’s movement not affiliated to any political party, which targets a minimum of one million memberships. It will be entirely locally funded and independent. The new movement springs from the initiative of Victor Ivan, a veteran journalist […]

NEPAL: Dr. C.K. Raut’s supporters re-arrested and kept in police custody under torturous conditions

Statement | Nepal | 13-12-2016

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that seventeen supporters of Dr. C.K. Raut have been arrested by the police on 7 December from the Janakpur District. They were organizing a clean-up programme of the city after the Vivahpanchami festival attended by about one million pilgrims. They are still in police custody under […]

AHRC TV: Rohingya abuse may be ‘crimes against humanity’, says UN and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 150

This week, in its 150th episode, Just Asia begins with Burma, where the crackdown on the Rohingya may amount to ‘crimes against humanity’, says UN’s human rights agency. Since October, the Burmese military have been burning Rohingya homes, shooting people and raping women. According to John McKissick of the UN refugee agency, the government’s “ultimate […]

NEPAL: Dr. C.K. Raut and supporters arrested and tortured at peaceful gatherings

Statement | Nepal | 30-11-2016

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) strongly condemns the Nepal Police who arrested Dr. C. K. Raut and more than two hundred supporters of his campaign. They came from different districts of Nepal’s Terai. Excessive force was used. Illegal arrests were made. By contrast, Dr. Raut and his supporters were commemorating 25 November (Mangsir 10, […]

AHRC TV: Madhesi activists arrested from workshop in Nepal and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 145

This week Just Asia begins with Nepal, where 22 Madhesi activists were arrested on October 23 while participating in a Leadership Development workshop. Affiliated with Dr. C.K. Raut and his campaign, the activists from Nawalparasi District were meeting at a local hotel. A group of around 40 police officers abruptly closed the workshop, hit the […]

INDONESIA: Indonesian security forces and vigilantes forcibly disperse peaceful discussion about 1965-1966 massacre

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding forced dissolution of a peaceful public discussion organized by the Association of Indonesian Students Press (PPMI). The topic of the discussion was Marxism and 1965-1966 Massacre. The security forces, along with vigilante groups, forcibly dispersed the discussion, and intimidated the participants and the […]

PAKISTAN: Shia killings commence in Army controlled areas, amidst threats of Indo-Pak war

With the arrival of the month of Muharram, killings of Shias have commenced. These killings have occurred particularly in Army controlled areas. On the 2nd day of holy month of Muharram, October 4, two incidents of Shia killings have been reported. Six persons including four women belonging to Shia sect of Islam were gunned downed […]

INDIA: Police kill 4 citizens protesting land acquisition on CM’s watch

Statement | India | 03-10-2016

The Police firing, killing 4 citizens, including a minor, in Dadikala Village of Barkagaon Block in Hazaribagh District of Jharkhand, has not come out of the blue. The state authorities were well aware of the popular anger against forced acquisition of villagers’ lands for a coal mine project of the NTPC Limited (NTPC), a public […]

THAILAND: Call for observers in verdict of landmark Kaeng Krachan National Park case

On 7 September 2016, at 10:30 a.m., the verdict in the case of Karen people forcibly relocated from the Kaeng Krachan National Park will be read at the Central Administrative Court in Bangkok. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) urges all concerned persons to attend the court as observers, and calls on other interested persons […]

AHRC TV: Activist on hunger strike in Thailand and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 135

This week Just Asia begins with Thailand, where 25-year-old Jatupat Boonyapatraksa is continuing his hunger strike at Phu Khiao District Prison, Chaiyaphum province to protest against the country’s broken justice system. Jatupat was arrested on August 6 for distributing anti constitution flyers. The Resistant Citizen group have invited ordinary Thai people to write post cards […]

PAKISTAN: National Minorities Day – A perplexed nation

National Minorities Day is annually commemorated on August 11, in remembrance of the 1947 landmark speech of Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, envisaging that citizens of all faiths will be treated equally in the new nation: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your […]

INDIA: Statement against RSS attack on journalist Neha Dixit and press freedom

A Statement from journalists, activists and academics in India, available on www.kafila. org, forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission This statement is being posted with the hundred-plus signatures received between 1 pm and 8 pm today. Please endorse in the comments section if you wish to do so. We, the undersigned journalists, activists and academics, […]

THAILAND: State must act to end torture and harassment of those fighting it

Thailand acceded to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) on 2 October 2007. Nearly ten years later, on 26 May 2016, the Thai government issued a Cabinet Resolution stating that it will pass a Prevention of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act. However, the Asian Human Rights Commission […]

THAILAND: Structural and legal threats to free expression in referendum process

By Phattranit Yaodam and Samira Saran August 7, 2016 is scheduled for the constitutional referendum by the Thai Military government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the junta-ruling body. It is during times of political change that the right to freedom of expression is most essential, ensuring that a well-informed and empowered […]

INDONESIA: Racism and assaults against indigenous Papuans ignored by government in Yogyakarta province

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns racism, insults and assaults against indigenous Papuan students in the Papuan students dormitory at the Kamasan I Jalan Kusumanegara, Yogyakarta province, Indonesia. Since Friday morning, July 15, police officers have surrounded and forcibly closed the Papuan students’ dormitory. Inside there were approximately 100 Papuan students. The police did […]

AHRC TV: JUST ASIA, Episode 127

Beginning with Thailand this week, Just Asia covers three human rights defenders who have been accused of criminal defamation and violation of the Computer Crime Act for publishing a report detailing 54 cases of torture by the Thai Army in the country’s southern provinces. The three defenders, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, Director of the Cross Cultural Foundation […]

AHRC TV: JUST ASIA, Episode 126

This week Just Asia begins with the attack on a peaceful public protest in North Sulawesi, Indonesia on June 1, calling for professionalism by parliamentarians, and the prosecution of those involved in illegal drugs. While waiting to have a dialogue with some parliamentarians at the Manodo parliament office, the student protesters were suddenly attacked by […]

INDONESIA: Police officers, civil service police unit and local parliament staff attacked a peaceful public protest in Manado

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about police brutality provided by the Indonesian Student Christian Movement (GMKI) Manado branch office, North Sulawesi Province. Police officers supported by the civil service police unit (Satpol PP) and staff employees of the local parliament (DPRD) attacked the protesters. Rather than accommodate the protesters’ […]

PAKISTAN: Special report on grim situation of freedom of expression

(Hong Kong, 3 June 2016) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)’s bi-monthly magazine, article 2, has produced a special edition on “The state of freedom of expression in Pakistan”. The report covers details about the country’s fragile situation of freedom of expression and speech. It includes articles by professors, religious scholars, writers and activists. Interestingly, the […]