Freedom of expression

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 […]

AHRC TV: Angry protests continue in Hong Kong against extradition law and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 260

This week Just Asia begins with Hong Kong, where protests are continuing over the government’s proposed extradition bill. Thousands gathered outside the Legislative Council headquarters on Wednesday, where the bill was meant to be discussed for the second time. While the protest began peacefully, towards the latter part of the day police resorted to using […]

ASIA: The Sovereignty of the People, Freedom of Expression and Contempt of Court

Statement | Asia | 13-06-2019

The sovereignty of the people is best expressed by the exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Both of these freedoms are essential to common people living with a sense of dignity. These freedoms are also essential in order to create a sense of community among all the peoples who live within the […]

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, […]

AHRC TV: Indian building safety violations lead to deaths in fire and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 259

This week Just Asia begins with India, where criminal disdain for human life was seen again in a blaze claiming 22 young lives in a coaching institution in Surat, Gujarat, one of the country’s wealthiest states. Many of the students, trapped on the fourth floor of a building with no fire exits, were burnt alive […]

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 […]

SOUTH KOREA: Eugene Soh, a great lover of genuine democracy passes away. 진정 민주주의를 사랑했던 서유진 선생 세상을 떠나다

Click here to Read the Korean Version On 16th May 2019, Eugene Soh, a man who dedicated his entire adult life working to defeat the military dictatorship in South Korea, passed away after a brief illness. Mahatma is a South Asian word meaning great soul. Eugene Soh was definitely a man who had a very […]

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 […]

INDONESIA: Peaceful public protest attacked and dispersed

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-005-2019  April 24, 2019 ——————————————————————— INDONESIA: Peaceful public protest attacked and dispersed ISSUES: Freedom of expression and opinion, human rights defenders, fair trial, legal aid  ——————————————————————— Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from a national human rights organization, the […]

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 […]

INDONESIA: Human Rights Activist Interrogated by Police After Criticizing the Military

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-004-2019  April 10, 2019 ——————————————————————— INDONESIA: Human Rights Activist Interrogated by Police After Criticizing the Military ISSUES: Freedom of expression and opinion, human rights defenders, fair trial, legal aid  ——————————————————————— Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding criminal charges […]

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 […]

SRI LANKA: Danger–the Rise of Ruthless Leadership Under Ruthless Political Governance

That there is mass dissatisfaction and frustration about the way the country has been ruled is today a commonly accepted proposition. However, this mass dissatisfaction has not given rise to more articulate expression within the country, is also an obvious truth. The result is that there is no general enthusiasm for seeking change. As is […]

AHRC TV: Pakistan court places Hindu girls in protection and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 253

This week Just Asia begins with Pakistan, where two teenage Hindu girls were placed in a government shelter on Tuesday, after allegations of their forced conversion and marriages to Muslim men. The Islamabad High Court issued the protection order for the two sisters, saying it acted on a petition from them. Sindh police have so […]