Legislation

AHRC TV: Bangladesh deadly fire kills 78 and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 248

This week Just Asia begins with Bangladesh, where a fast-moving fire in the historic district of Chawkbazar in the country’s capital city of Dhaka has killed 78 persons and injured 55. The death toll and the number of victims is expected to increase as more bodies are found from the wreckage. The 400-year-old Chawkbazar district […]

AHRC TV: Sri Lanka to bring back death penalty for drug offenders and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 247

Announcement | | 15-02-2019

This week Just Asia begins with Sri Lanka, where President Maithripala Sirisena told parliament last week that he was ready to bring back the death penalty for drug offenders within one or two months. The last hanging in Sri Lanka took place in 1976, since when there has been a moratorium on capital punishment. President […]

SRI LANKA: Public space decreasing as talk of presidential election looms large

In an unprecedented move, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena attacked the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) for carrying out its duty to vet soldiers to participate in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. While the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations requires the HRCSL to vet the human rights record of persons proposed for participation in peacekeeping […]

SRI LANKA: From instability to greater disability

Perhaps one thing that was forgotten when Lord Dunmore gave Adult Franchise for all, and also when Sri Lanka became an independent nation, is the stability of the social structure of a country. This is what provides for the establishment of the government, which will ensure security and stability to all. When these matters are […]

AHRC TV: Philippines lowers criminal responsibility to 9 years and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 245

This week Just Asia begins with the Philippines, where rights groups and opposition lawmakers have condemned a bill lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9 years old. The bill was passed with a 9-1 vote on Monday. According to rights groups, the bill is “not in the best interest” of children, […]

AHRC TV: Indian police fire at protesters without warning and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 244

This week Just Asia begins with India’s north eastern state of Tripura, where police opened fire without any warning against protesters on January 8. Two young men were shot in the chest and are in critical condition. They were peacefully protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, which is seen as highly inimical to the indigenous peoples […]

INDIA: Flawed and divisive Citizenship Bill dangerous for the country

Statement | India | 09-01-2019

With reports of violence over the passage of the flawed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha across all seven states in the region, India’s North East is on the boil. The Bill, notwithstanding its confusing use of the word immigrants for refugees fleeing religious persecution, seeks to replace the Citizenship Act of 1955 that […]

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 […]