Legislation

AHRC TV: Bangladesh crackdown on civil society ahead of December elections and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 242

This week Just Asia begins with Bangladesh, where the government has intensified crackdowns on civil society prior to December’s general elections. Most recently, prominent freedom-fighter and civil society actor Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury and his institutions have come under terrorist attacks, while the pro-government media has been maligning Dr. Badul Alam Majumdar, head of the Hunger […]

AHRC TV: Nepal police fire tear gas at protesters and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 232

This week Just Asia begins with Nepal, where police fired five rounds of tear gas and baton-charged protesters in Kachanpur district. Two protesters were injured, while another two were arrested. The protests were against the arrest of Dilip Singh Bista on the rape and murder charge of 13-year-old Nirmala Pant. Kanchanpur residents claim that Dilip […]

AHRC TV: Schools attacked in Pakistan and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 231

This week Just Asia begins with Pakistan, where 14 schools have been attacked by militants. Last Friday and Saturday saw schools in the Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan ransacked, torched and destroyed. Most of the schools were for girls. No one was hurt, as the buildings were closed at the time of attack. Nobel Peace Prize […]

NEPAL: Political drama must not taint country’s judiciary

Statement | Nepal | 03-08-2018

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been watching Nepal’s political drama unfold over the past month with great concern. The main characters in this drama are Acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who is the nominee for the Chief Justice, the government and the 15 members Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC). The Constitutional Committee […]

AHRC TV: Indian police given death sentence for torture and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 230

This week Just Asia begins with India, where two police officers have been awarded the death penalty for the custodial torture and death of 27-year-old Udaya Kumara in Kerala in 2005. For more than 10 years, Udaya’s mother was steadfast in her pursuit of justice. Udaya’s case is a reminder not only of police brutality […]

NEPAL: Addressing torture essential to cementing political change

Statement | Nepal | 26-06-2018

A Statement on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture Nepal underwent political change in 2017, with local level elections held for the first time in 20 years. This was a significant step in ending the country’s political transition following the civil war (1996-2006). After a decade-long conflict in Nepal, the number […]

NEPAL: Communist government moves to curtail civil liberties

By Supriya Manandhar The Nepal Communist Party (NCP) government has announced two new policies that have oversight to infringe on civil liberties in Nepal. The National Integrity Policy 2018 places tighter controls over non-governmental space and is currently under discussion, while the Foreign Nationals Monitoring Directive 2018 provides greater surveillance and intervention over foreigners residing […]

INDONESIA: Terrorist attacks need immediate evaluation of Anti-Terror System

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) strongly condemns the terrorist attacks and suicide bombings which occurred in several churches in Surabaya, East Java Province. We note that the attacks resulted in at least 11 people killed and 41 injured. When the bombs exploded around 7a.m. they struck terror into the hearts of Indonesia’s sizeable, minority, Christian community. […]

INDONESIA: Change blasphemy law to avoid abuse

An article from the Jakarta Post forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission By Jony Eko Yulianto The daughter of Indonesia’s first president, Sukmawati Soekarnoputri, issued her tearful apology to Indonesian Muslims over her poem which allegedly insulted Islam. She said “Ibu Indonesia” (Mother Indonesia), which suggested traditional songs and women’s appearances were more beautiful than “your […]

INDONESIA: New Penal Code Bill needs serious revision

Indonesia’s penal code, a legacy of Dutch colonialism, has been discussed for many years in the parliament, resulting in academic papers and draft revisions of the law. Nonetheless, little progress has been achieved, with an official discussion in parliament only beginning in 2015, under President Joko Widodo’s administration. The 100-years-old penal code issued by the […]

CAMBODIA: The Cambodian Senate Elections: A Manifestation of the Government’s Human Rights Neglect

On February 25, 2018, the King, 11,572 commune councilors and 123 National Assembly members are set to elect the 62 members of the Cambodian senate. With the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on 16th November 2017, the seats of CNRP commune councilors have been reallocated for members of the ruling Cambodian People’s […]

AHRC TV: Child murderer given four death sentences in Pakistan and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 209

This week Just Asia begins with Pakistan, where 24-year-old Imran Ali has been given four death sentences for raping and murdering a six-year old girl last month. Zainab Ansari’s body was found in a rubbish dump in the city of Kasur on January 9, five days after she went missing. Ali has been linked by police to […]

INDIA: Protect victims of trafficking along the Indo-Bangladesh border

Statement | India | 20-02-2018

In November of 2017, a series of arrests were made by the Swarupnagar Police Station officials in 24 Parganas(North) West Bengal, India. The first of its kind was that of Ms. Reena Akhtar, later followed by three other women (Ms.Taslima Begum, Ms.Beuti Begum, and Ms. Masuma Begum), and this includes even one who was accompanied […]

AHRC TV: Rohingya crisis could spark regional conflict says UN chief and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 207

This week Just Asia begins with Burma, with the UN’s human rights chief warning that the government’s persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority has the potential to spark regional conflict. “It is sometimes said that today’s human rights violations will become tomorrow’s conflicts,” Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said on Monday. Also this week, the Associated Press […]

BANGLADESH: Open letter on Digital Security Bill 2018

A Joint Open Letter by the Asian Human Rights Commission, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), CIVICUS, FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Odhikar, People’s Watch, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT) To The President of Bangladesh, H.E. Md Abdul Hamid The Chair of the […]

INDIA: A great betrayal

An article by Prof. Upendra Baxi, published in The Indian EXPRESS, forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission State impunity continues for acts of torture. Lawmakers and court have not stepped up to their duty February 19, 2016 was an unusual day in the world history of torture when Ashwani Kumar, a senior advocate and […]

INDIA: Odisha government must return the land acquired for POSCO to its original owners

Statement | India | 12-12-2017

In 2005, the South Korean-based Pohang Steel Company (POSCO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of the state of Odisha. The MoU involved the building of a steel plant having 12 million tonne annual capacity, along with a captive port and an iron ore mine, for which POSCO required an estimated 4,000 acres of land, including […]

INDIA: Protesting Farmers hold their Parliament, passing bills as real one looks away

Article | India | 22-11-2017

by Avinash Pandey More than 3 lakh (300,000) suicides in thirty years and millions of other lives ruined, would qualify as a national disaster, forcing the Government to tackle it all guns blazing in any democracy. Alas, it does not in the one that claims to be the largest democracy of them all-India. In fact […]

SRI LANKA: That the Constitution allows enforced disappearances is a big lie (Loku boruwak!)

By Basil Fernando This article is a response to an article titled “International Convention on Enforced Disappearances violates the Constitution” published in a reputed newspaper The Island of 22nd October 2017, written by Neville Ladduwahetty. The crux of the argument in that article is that the definition of enforced disappearances as contained in the International Convention on […]

NEPAL: Diluted proportional electoral system

Article | Nepal | 16-10-2017

by Raksha Ram Harijan The government has announced the date for elections in the Federal and Provincial levels, with the Election Commission (EC) deciding to conduct the polls in two phases: the Member of House of Representatives (Federal Legislative) elections will be held on 26 November 2017, and the Member of State Assembly elections will […]