Freedom of expression

INDONESIA: Prospect and Problem of the Transitional Justice in Indonesia after 32 years Political Injustice under the Soeharto Regime

Paper | Indonesia | 28-07-2020

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to inform you about a paper on “Prospect and Problem of the Transitional Justice in Indonesia after 32 years Political Injustice under the Soeharto Regime.” The paper is written by Chris Biantoro, a human rights lawyer and Indonesia desk officer at the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Hong Kong. […]

PHILIPPINES: Anti-Terrorism Act is reminiscent of the dark history of martial law era, says CCA General Secretary

The Philippines’ new ‘Anti-Terrorism Act’, which took effect on Saturday, 18 July 2020, is reminiscent of the use of repressive force and human rights violations of the dark history of martial law era, stated the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Dr Mathews George Chunakara. In a statement released on behalf of […]

PHILIPPINES/WORLD: Her Story Lives: Honoring the Predecessors of the #HijaAko Movement

By: Ma. Hazel Joy Faco Out of breath from running around the city with a big placard in one hand and a heavy, borrowed tripod on the other, I stood in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul with eighty other activists demanding for an official apology and reparation from the Japanese government. After that […]

BANGLADESH: Access to justice amidst COVID-19 for pro-opposition litigants are dealt with draconian laws and discrimination

A Written Submission to the 44th Regular Session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) draws attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures to the realities regarding access to justice in Bangladesh, an incumbent member of the Human […]

PHILIPPINES/WORLD: “In the absence of clear and measurable outcomes from domestic mechanisms, consider options for international accountability measures”. UNHR Commissioner for Human Rights tells the Philippines government

 The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights submitted report to the UN Human Rights Council on 4th of June. It is a very comprehensive report on serious violations of Human Rights that have been taking place in the last few years. In her concluding remarks, the High Commissioner’s report says… “The legal, constitutional and […]

ශ්‍රී ලංකා: “අපේකම යනු කුමක්ද”?

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු මේ දිනවල අපේකම පිළිබදව වැදගත් සාකච්ඡාවක් නිර්මාණය වෙමින් පවතී. මෙයට එක් ප‍්‍රධාන හේතුවක් වන්නේ දැනට ලංකාෙව් සමස්ථ ජනතාව තුලම ලංකාෙව් ප‍්‍රාග් ඉතිහාසය පිළිබද ගෙව්ශණ වල සොයා ගැනීම් පැතිරීමට පටන්ගෙන තිබෙන නිසාය. මෙය අතිශයින් වැදගත් වන සාකච්ඡාවක මුල් අවධියකි. මේ නිසා අපේකම යන්න පිළිබද අදහස ලංකාෙව් විකාශනය වී ඇති ආකාරය පිළිබදව කල්පනා කිරීම වටී. […]

CAMBODIA: Civil Society Organizations call for the Royal Government of Cambodia to Amend the State of Emergency Law to Protect Human Rights

Phnom Penh, 13 May 2020 – Without urgent and substantial amendment, the new Law on the Management of the Nation in State of Emergency (“State of Emergency Law”) grants the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) powers to restrict the fundamental freedoms of the Cambodian people without limit. The recently promulgated State of Emergency Law was impulsively […]

BANGLADESH: Stifling expression using Digital Security Act must not be the norm to address COVID-19 pandemic

The Bangladesh government has resorted once again to its notorious Digital Security Act-2018to muzzle freedom of expression, suing 11 individuals and arresting four of them following criticism of in the governments’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four people have been detained since 5 May 2020 under the draconian digital law, including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, writer Mushtaq […]

WORLD: Who Wants War (WWW)?

Article | World | 10-05-2020

By Shanthikumar Hettiarahchi Time and again the rhetoric of war comes to the frontline conversations and debate in international relations. The North American, as well as the European power blocks are in shock and dismay about what has befallen on their secure and comfortably wealthy economies. Deaths in thousands even though less emphasis laid on […]

WORLD: THE THEORY OF ADVOCACY CONTAINED IN THE FOLK SCHOOL METHOD

Article | World | 05-05-2020

By Basil Fernando For the purpose of this short essay, I use ‘folk school’ to mean the ideas of the folk school which were developed in Denmark by NFS Grundtvig and the folk school movement. The same methodology was also followed by Myles Horton of the United States. After spending several years in Denmark visiting […]

PAKISTAN: Government uses brutal tactics to infringe Freedoms of Press and Expression

The Pakistan Government has failed to improve its pattern of muzzling the Press and overall civic space. It is under the leadership of cricketing superstar/turned politician, Imran Khan. The Authorities have been using the same old abusive techniques with the State agencies. In the previous military and civilian regimes they criminalized the critics of the […]

WORLD: ‘Identity Politics’ Belittled in the Face of Covid 19 Global Assault

Article | World | 29-04-2020

By Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi Francis Fukuyama in his Identity: Demand for Dignity and Politics of Resentment (2018) from particular perspective is a ‘soft apology’ for a ‘ miscalculated and misinterpreted’ narrative in his End of History and the Last man (1992). Some argue that he more or less provided the ideological foundation to the basically unsubstantiated […]

CAMBODIA: Suspend MFI Debts and Return Land Titles Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

The suffering of millions of Cambodians who are facing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic is being amplified by the country’s ongoing over-indebtedness crisis, stemming from more than $10 billion in loans from aggressive microfinance institutions (MFIs). More than two and a half million Cambodians currently hold microloans, with an average loan of more […]

WORLD: Some thoughts on spirituality

Article | World | 18-04-2020

BY Basil Fernando In his writings, including the book, Common Sense, Thomas Paine celebrated the triumph of reason. He saw the modern age as a product of reason and that all knowledge and all approaches to life should be based on reason alone. This was a characteristic of his age, the age that began with […]

SRI LANKA: A Tragic Transformation: The Strange Case Of The 1978 Constitution

By Basil Fernando I have borrowed the title of this article from the immortal work of Robert Lewis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This novel is about a mysterious and tragic transformation caused by the use of certain chemicals. By the use of such chemical concoctions, Dr. Jekyll, an amiable, […]

THAILAND: Drop Criminal Complaint Against Fortify Rights Senior Human Rights Specialist Puttanee Kangkun

Thai authorities or Thai poultry company Thammakaset Company Limited should immediately drop criminal defamation complaints against Puttanee Kangkun and other human rights defenders, Fortify Rights said today. On December 6, Thammakaset filed a complaint against Puttanee with the Bangkok Southern Criminal Court for 14 social media engagements expressing support for human rights defenders. Puttanee is […]

BANGLADESH: Muzzling press freedom triggering risks on livelihood of Information Technology professionals

Bangladesh’s incumbent government, headed by Sheikh Hasina, continues curbing civic space and muzzling freedom of expression. The latest target has been Netra News – an investigative news portal launched from Sweden on 26 December 2019. Bangladesh government blocked access to the news portal within 72 hours of its launching with a report entitled “A wrist of luxury”. The […]

PAKISTAN: Activist languishing in jail a month after his arrest on trumped up charges

One month since Professor Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained, he is still languishing in prison on trumped-up charges of ‘hate speech’, ‘spreading false information’ and ‘cyberterrorism’. CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) calls on the Pakistan authorities to halt his persecution and release him immediately and unconditionally. In […]

SRI LANKA: What happens to the people happens also to judges, lawyers, and others

A comment on the memoir of Former Chief Justice Dr Shiranee Bandaranayake entitled “Hold Me in Contempt” Basil Fernando Attorney-At-Law This memoir by former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on the (now nullified) impeachment is a significant contribution to the cause of promoting the independence of judiciary in Sri Lanka. Its significance lies in the […]

WORLD: Thai judge survives shooting himself in the chest in open court as a protest against interference with judicial independence

By Basil Fernando In a Thai courthouse on 4th October 2019, Judge Khanakorn Pianchana shot himself in the chest as a protest against interference with the independence of judges in their decision-making process. Fortunately, he survived the suicide attempt – made in open court – and is reportedly out of intensive care. Regarding the issue […]