Independence of judges & lawyers

INDONESIA: Criminal justice reforms and human rights accountability urgently needed

An Open Letter from the Asian Human Rights Commission to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)  Palais Wilson  52 Rue Des Pâquis  CH-1201 Geneva SWITZERLAND Fax : +41 22 917 9012/0213 […]

AHRC TV: Pakistani police shoot fourth victim in Karachi and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 205

This week Just Asia begins with Pakistan, where police shot dead a 24-year-old rickshaw driver while allegedly chasing terrorists. The driver was later found to have nothing to do with any terrorists or gangs. Although the police officers have been arrested, no charges have been filed yet. This is the fourth police killing seen in […]

INDIA: Judicial transparency and accountability – the nation has a right to know

Statement | India | 22-01-2018

The press conference held by Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph on 12 January 2018 is a watershed event in Indian judicial history. Four of the five most senior judges of the Supreme Court of India, appealed to the conscience of the nation, to intervene, failing which the judges cautioned that […]

PAKISTAN: International Court of Justice should intervene in death of Dr. Zafar and ongoing disappearances

Even as Pakistan was still reeling from the Kasur child rape at the beginning of 2018, octogenarian professor Dr. Hasan Zafar Arif was found murdered on January 14. According to news reports, Dr. Zafar’s tortured dead body was found inside his abandoned car, at a deserted place in Karachi. He was missing since Saturday. Though […]

INDIA: Dark days for the Judiciary

Statement | India | 12-01-2018

In a first for India, the 4 senior-most judges of the Supreme Court called for a press meet. Justices Chelameshwar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph held a press meet at the residence of Justice Chelameswar, the second in line after the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra. There was a flurry of speculation on […]

NEPAL: Prominent activist arrested for contempt of court

Prominent activist Dr. Govinda K.C. was arrested for contempt of court on the evening of 8 January 2018. Prior to his arrest, he issued a press statement demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli, for reinstating Dr. Sashi Sharma as the Dean of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dr. K.C. also accused Chief Justice […]

PAKISTAN: Enforced disappearances and violations of religious freedoms becoming point of isolation in world community

Pakistan has recently been placed on a special watch list for severe violations of religious freedom by the United States’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. This was done under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. A brief announcement by the United States’ State Department said that for the first time it has created a […]

AHRC TV: Police shot patient being taken to hospital in the Philippines and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 202

This week Just Asia begins with the Philippines, where the police killed two people, including a woman on her way to hospital, after mistaking them for gunmen. The incident occurred on December 28, when police were called to a Manila suburb following an earlier shooting during an argument between residents. The nine policemen involved in the […]

SRI LANKA: The Quality of our Judiciary ?

An interview with Dr. Sunil Coorey on delays in the administration of justice The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media made its recommendations pertaining to the expeditious and efficient administration of criminal justice on 20 September 2017. The Committee recommended an increase in the number of High Court Judges, State Counsels and […]

SRI LANKA: A comprehensive understanding of non-interference with judiciary is a dire need in Sri Lanka

By Nagananda Kodituwakku and Basil Fernando It was heartening to hear from the incumbent Chief Justice, Priyasath Dep, that Sri Lanka’s judiciary is free from any interference. This statement comes as a relief, given that we can recall a long period of the most despicable forms of the interference with the judiciary in Sri Lanka […]

BANGLADESH: Abused independence deepens problems

Bangladesh celebrates its National Martyred Intellectuals Day today, 14 December 2017. The country recalls the martyrdom of some of its citizens who had high professional integrity at the time–1971. The Pakistani occupying forces and their local collaborators were known to be involved in abducting intellectuals. This included physicians, academics, journalists, and writers. The occupying forces […]

INDIA: Judiciary fails to stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Statement | India | 08-12-2017

December 10 is Human Rights Day, and this year will celebrate 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The theme this year is “let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity”, a fitting exhortation for the year ahead in India. For the ordinary person in India, the High courts and the […]

NEPAL: Government must move beyond partisan interests for realization of rights

In 2017, Nepal saw local elections taking place in the country after more than two decades. Federal Parliament and Provincial Assembly elections were also conducted this year. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the government of Nepal for successfully completing the elections. Voter turnout was high in response to the lack of effective political […]

ASIA: Lawyer files for Writ of Mandamus against Supreme Court Judge Eva Wansundara

A Petition filed in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka by senior lawyer and public interest litigation activist Nagananda Kodituwakku forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) READ FULL TEXT OF APPEAL HERE The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward to you the following Petition filed in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, […]

SRI LANKA: “Police Fails to Conduct An Impartial Inquiry Into the Accident that Killed A Doctor”, Lawyer Tells The Court

The Specialist Doctor Wasantha Pushpakumara Herath died as a result of a fatal accident on the 22nd of September 2017. His car was being driven from Kandy to Colombo on the Kandy Road. A lorry which had tried to overtake another vehicle at a very high speed collided with the vehicle driven by Dr. Herath […]

AHRC TV: UN Security Council urges Burma to end Rohingya violence and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 196

This week Just Asia begins with Burma, which has been called on by the UN Security Council to end the violence in Rakhine state and allow hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya to return. In a unanimous statement backed by China, the Council strongly condemned the violence forcing more than 600,000 Rohingya to flee across […]

SRI LANKA: The need to protect the integrity of the Judiciary & Lawyers who work to uphold the Rule of Law

A Letter from article from Mr. Nagananda Kodotuwakku, Attorney-at-Law ( SL) and Solicitor( UK) and public interest Attorney, on 09th November 2017, to the Bar Association of Sri Lanka forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission READ LETTER HERE The Secretary The Bar Association No 153, Mihindu Mawatha Colombo 12 09th Nov 2017 The need to […]

AHRC TV: India’s top court rules sex with wife below 18 is rape and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 193

This week Just Asia begins with India, where the Supreme Court ruled that sex with a wife younger than 18 is rape. This is a much needed legal development for child rights, and will help in the fight to end child marriage in the country. Sadly, the fight against marital rape for adult women continues. […]

AHRC TV: Boat capsize kills 60 Rohingya and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 191

This week Just Asia begins with the death of 60 Rohingya in a boat capsize off Bangladesh on September 28, as they were fleeing violence in Burma. A UN spokesman said 23 people were confirmed dead and 40 more were “missing and presumed drowned”. Dozens of Rohingya have already died trying to cross into Bangladesh […]

PAKISTAN: A call to recover the Turk teacher and his wife and daughters who have disappeared after arrest

Despite being the host country of the highest number of refugees of the world, Pakistan is still not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or to its 1967 Protocol. The result is that the issues associated with hosting refugees are being addressed arbitrarily and inequitably. Social decency and hospitality demands that a country treats […]