Freedom of expression

UPDATE (INDONESIA): NGOs condemn latest attack on human rights defenders at Komnas HAM

(RE: UA-11-2002: Attacks on human rights defenders, destruction of property, public use of weapons with impunity)  UPDATE (INDONESIA): Further attacks on human rights defenders, public threats made with impunity  ———————————————————————-  Dear Friends  We are including here a joint statement by 48 Indonesian NGOs in response to another attack by the FBR (Betawi Brotherhood Forum) on […]

INDIA: A Statement of Solidarity to Arundhati Roy

Statement | India | 06-03-2002

A Statement By the Asian Human Rights Commission – AHRC   The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is saddened by the Indian Supreme Court’s judgement on 6 March 2002 against Arundhati Roy for a statement she made in her affidavit to the court in an earlier case. In her affidavit, Arundhati Roy explained her criticism […]

UPDATE (India): More appeals for justice for Sr Vanaselvi

Dear Friends  For your continued information and attention to this case, we are issuing here three letters that have been sent on behalf of Sister Vanaselvi, who was summarily ejected from her Order and ostracised upon being arrested by the police on what have so far proven to be baseless charges. If you have not […]

UPDATE (India): An appeal for justice for Sr. Vanaselvi

On February 7 we released a special joint urgent appeal with People’s Watch Tamil Nadu regarding the expulsion of Sr. Vanaselvi from the religious congregation Mother of Sorrows Servants of Mary, based in Chennai, India. Sr. Vanaselvi had been a model servant of the poor her entire life before being arrested by the Suramangalam police on baseless allegations. The Superior General of the Order, Sr. Corona Mary, not only dismissed her without warning or discussion while in prison, she also ordered all of the nuns of the congregation to completely ostracise Sr. Vanaselvi. 

UPDATE: Who is Dr. Salai, Burmese political prisoner?

Further to our Urgent Appeal of 28 January 2002 regarding the arrest and detention of Dr. Salai Tun Than in Rangoon, Burma, for holding a peaceful one-man protest, we have received additional details of the Professor’s arrest and his distinguished biography. 

INDONESIA: Bandung activists were tortured, face unfair trial

AHRC welcomes the recent capture by the Indonesian police of Tommy Suharto – fugitive son of Gen. Suharto, accused of crimes ranging from corruption and graft to bombings and the assassination of a judge. However, we have serious doubts about the ability of the criminal justice system to proceed effectively, as the system is fundamentally flawed. Time and time again the influential elite and members of military and police charged with horrendous human rights crimes are not prosecuted or let off with ridiculously light sentences; while the poorer sections calling for decent wages and conditions, land for peasants or self-determination for indigenous peoples are harshly punished for raising their voices. 

NEPAL: Newpaper editor jailed

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 31/010/2001  UA 142/01 Prisoners of conscience 6 June 2001  NEPAL Yubaraj Ghimirey, editor-in-chief of the Kantipur  Binod Raj Gyawali, director of the Kantipur  Kailash Sirohiya, managing director of the Kantipur  Yubaraj Ghimirey, Binod Raj Gyawali and Kailash Sirohiya, the editor-in-chief, director and managing director of the main Nepali newspaper Kantipur, have […]

INDONESIA: Denial of right to freedom of association and expression, threats to human rights defenders

Indonesia’s new democracy is facing its greatest threat to date. While the world’s attention is on whether President Wahid will stay in office or not some organisations have taken the opportunity to wipe out the main progressive, democracy-building organisations, openly calling it an \”anti-communist\” purge (even though the organisations may be completely unrelated to communism). […]

INDONESIA: 12 of the Bandung 19 still in jail after forced confessions

Following is an update from our friends in Indonesia regarding the 19 young activists detained after the labour law and oil prices protests in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. 7 of the 19 have been released thanks to efforts to date. The other 12 were denied access to lawyers and forced to sign statements by the police, and as a result are in danger of being convicted of serious offences carrying long prison terms, despite the miscarriage of justice involved. Please read this short update and send a letter to protest the unfair proceedings being used to stop these young activists from freely expressing their opinion about attacks on worker rights and unbearable costs of living. Your letter could help to free the remaining political prisoners. 

CAMBODIA: Parliamentarian threatened in the street by armed military officer

On September 29 a military intelligence officer used his gun to threaten the life of an opposition parliament openly in a busy street in Phnom Penh. As yet no action has been taken against this officer. Details are provided below in a Human Rights Watch press release. Following the press relese is a sample letter and the contact details for the Prime Minister of Cambodia and the chair of the Senate’s Human Rights Commission. Please write to them to try to keep democracy alive in Cambodia. 

SRI LANKA: Call for police to provide peace and security for elections

Further to UA 32/00 \”Early Warning of likely escalation of election violence\”, as of 25th September, 13 had died from election-related violence since the campaign began. As of the 28th, the Centre for Monitoring of Election Violence (CMEV) had recorded 850 incidents of violence (or almost 35 per day), with indications that this level is rising even further (61 cases were recorded on September 27). Kindly see the CMEV website for further info: 

SRI LANKA (EARLY WARNING): Political killings require investigation and prevention

Two young men have been killed in election-related violence in Sri Lanka in the first 5 days following the announcement of the National Elections to be held on October 10. Here is the sequence of events: 

MALAYSIA: Internal Security Act subverts due process

URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT  ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM  AHRC UA Index: 000802 2 August 2000  —————————————————————  UA 29/00: Freedom of expression denied  MALAYSIA: Internal Security Act subverts due process  —————————————————————  We forward here two statements made by the reputed Malaysian organisation Aliran on the occasion of the […]

MALAYSIA: Roslan Kassim and Mohd Ezam and other opposition leaders arrested

UA 20/00: Freedom of expression denied MALAYSIA: Roslan Kassim and Mohd Ezam and other opposition leaders arrested The Malaysian authorities arrested this morning Roslan Kassim from Keadilan. Roslan has been remanded for seven days. Keadilan politicians, Youth chief Mohd Ezam and exco member Gopalakrishnan have been detained. Police are believed to be looking for other […]

MALAYSIA: A Serious Crackdown in Malaysia

  It is reported that several arrests are taking place in Malaysia, which the human rights activists and observers describe as a crack down on the opposition. The most significant among them is the arrest of Karpal Singh who heads the legal team defending the former deputy Prime-Minister Anwar Ibrahim. He is charged with sedition […]

Freedom of Expression on Trial

AHRC UA990302 Malaysia 02 March 1999 ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION URGENT APPEAL [UPDATE] October 1998, thousands of Malaysians from all walks of life came into the streets to peacefully protest the corruptions and the injustices perpetrated by the government of the day. This form of protest had never before been seen in Malaysia. 17 October […]

Cambodia: Two Human Rights Activists Arrested for Action Against Dumping of Toxic Waste

21 December 1998, Mr Seng Sok Kim and Mr Meas Minear, both staff of the Cambodian League for Promotion of Human Rights [LICADHO] were arrested by police. Mr. Seng Sok Kim is the Sihanoukville Coordinator of LICADHO. They were charged by the Sihanoukville Court for robbery and inciting people to riot. The Asian Human Rights […]

Malaysia: Defense Lawyer Sentenced to 3 Months in Jail

Zainur Zakaria, a lawyer defending former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim against criminal charges, was sentenced to three months jail for contempt of court on November 30, 1998. Zainur Zakaria was sentenced after refusing to apologize for submitting an affidavit alleging that prosecutors tried to fabricate evidence against Mr. Anwar. Mr Raja Aziz […]

Philippines: Harassment of Lawyers

Three lawyers have been harrassed for engaging in a case against the military implicated in the torture and murder of labour leader Rolando Olalia in 1986. The lawyers subject to harassment are Romeo T. Capulong, Marie Yuviengco and Rolando Rico Olalia of the Public Interest Law Centre. They are legal representatives of state witnesses in […]

Sri Lanka: Killing of Political Prisoners in Kalutara Prison

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expressed its concern over the killing of three prisoners and attacks on many others for more than an hour on 12 December 1997 in Kulutara Prison, which is located about 50 kilometres from the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. The three who were killed and all other injured victims […]