Prison conditions

BANGLADESH: Surge of Arbitrary Detention under Digital Security Act Leads to Deepening Crisis

It is well-known that systemic abuse of draconian Laws is an established practice in Bangladesh. The incumbent Government has weaponised a number laws, including the Digital Security Act-2018, to intensify its campaign of curbing freedom of expression and opinion. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has compiled publicly available information obtained from the mainstream media. The data shows […]

INDIA: Strict liability principle applied to compensate families of deceased manual scavengers

Statement | India | 22-03-2018

In 2011, two manual scavengers died while cleaning a sewer in Delhi’s Bawana Industrial area. Finally, on 27th February 2018, in the case of Rajesh and Another v. Delhi Jal Board and Ors (W.P.(C) 7030/2012), the High Court of Delhi brought relief to the families of these victims. Though prohibited, the dehumanising and hazardous practice of manual […]

INDONESIA: Weak Judicial System and Legal Aid Allow for Unfair Trials

The Republic of Indonesia, an independent state since 17 August 1945, is a State based on the rule of law. Its constitution emphasizes (UUD 1945), in particular article 1 paragraph 3: “The State of Indonesia shall be a state based on the rule of law.” A state based on the rule of law means that the law […]

SRI LANKA: Inmate extra-judicially murdered inside Polonnaruwa Remand Prison

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Pitawalagedara Chandrarathna (47), resident of Bakamuna Police Division. Chandrarathna was arrested on 4 May 2017 charged with participation in a murder. After being detained for 14 days, he was found dead on 18 September 2017–murdered inside the Polonnaruwa Remand Prison.   Prison Authorities said that they […]

NEPAL: An Open Letter from the Asian Human Rights Commission to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and to the relevant authorities

06 September 2017 Mr. Krishna Bahadur Mahara Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal Phone: 977-1- 4200182/183/184/185 Toll Free No: 1660-01-00186 Fax: 977-1- 4200061/056/160 Email: Dear Mr. Mahara, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) would like to inform you that we are aware that your office […]

INDIA: What the Byculla riot tells us about the state of Indian prisons

An article from The Mint forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission The death of prisoner Manjula Shetye in Byculla jail last month reminds one of the 1983 Mulla committee report on prison reforms. More than three decades old, words from the report may not ring truer than now: “Do they continue to be citizens of the country […]

PAKISTAN: Supreme Court declares blasphemy accusation as tool of oppression and releases Christian after 11 years

The Supreme Court of Pakistan’s acquittal of a man accused of blasphemy 11 years ago is a breath of fresh air amidst the country’s suffocating patronage of religious extremism and mob justice. The three-member appellate bench found Mr. Mushtaq innocent and absolved him of all charges after spending more than a decade in jail. The […]

AHRC TV: Thai court extends detention of student activist in secret hearing and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 157

This week’s episode of Just Asia begins with Thailand, where the Khon Kaen Provincial Court on Monday, during an in-camera hearing, granted permission for police to extend the detention of Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattaraksa. A law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), Jatuphat was arrested on lese majeste charges for sharing a […]

AHRC TV: Human rights at lowest point in Hong Kong post-1997 and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 155

This week’s episode of Just Asia begins with Hong Kong, which is seeing human rights at its lowest point since 1997, said an Amnesty International report. According to the report, authorities have “failed on many fronts” to protect the city’s rights and freedoms. Amnesty urged the Hong Kong government and civil servants to “make defending […]

SRI LANKA: The job of a judge is to do justice, regardless of nationality

Article | India | 06-01-2017

Concerns have been raised about the preliminary report of the Consultation Task Force (CTF), particularly about hybrid courts and foreign judges. It should be remembered that this report and its recommendations have not been finalized. Additionally, at the very beginning of the report, the CTF write that they are not making extensive recommendations themselves, but […]

PHILIPPINES: Urgent call for support: free all political prisoners!

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward an appeal from Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (KARAPATAN) For more information, please contact: Cristina “Tinay” Ellazar Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General and Tanggol Bayi (Defend Women) – Philippines Convenor. mobile number +63917-3162831. Thank you. Urgent Appeals Desk  Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)  […]

INDONESIA: Open Prisons to Reform

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has learned that the detainees and prisoners in Indonesia face serious problems, in particular those related to overcrowding. In the past year, according to the Minister of Law and Human Rights and the Directorate General of Corrections, there are five Indonesian prisons that suffer the most from the problem […]

PHILIPPINES: Detainees threatened, tortured and their religion disrespected

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to express concern regarding the disrespect of the religion and dignity of 20 prisoners presently detained in General Santos City Jail. Tortured detainees were prevented from complaining due to threats to their families. CASE DETAILS: (Based on the testimony of 20 prisoners of General Santos City Jail, […]

PAKISTAN: Jails, reformatory institutions or factories producing hardened criminals?

by Javeria Younes The arguments against jail term in the context of a developing country such as Pakistan holds water if one considers the factor of the State failing to reform inmates. The length of sentence awarded is increasing considerably for offences such as burglary, theft, rape and terrorism, however no significant drop in such […]

SRI LANKA: Undoing corruption – the colossal, the trivial, and the real

Gabriel Garcia Marquez once spoke of Fidel Castro as a person “incapable of conceiving any idea that is not colossal”. During the last few months in Sri Lanka too there has been an interest in colossal ideas. One such colossal ambition is the idea of eliminating corruption.  It even became a major theme in an […]

BURMA/MYANMAR: Activist prosecuted for protesting against confiscated land

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that activist Thant Zin Htet has been charged for taking part in a peaceful protest in 2014 against lands seized by the government. He was arrested when he arranged a welcoming for student protesters marching from Mandalay to Yangon in February 2015. A Township Sub-administrative Officer […]

PAKISTAN: Baba Jan and Iftikhar Husaain sentenced to life imprisonment for the second time – for fighting for the rights of prisoners

Dear friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the continuous persecution of human rights defenders in Gilgit and Baltistan, the occupied lands by Pakistan. Mr. Baba Jan and his associate Mr. Iftikhar Hussain were sentenced for the second time for life imprisonment by an Anti Terrorist Court (ATC) in Gilgit, […]

INDONESIA: A tortured inmate and his family in West Sumatra are under threat for seeking justice

Dear friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Padang Legal Aid Institute (LBH Padang) regarding the torture of an inmate by two prison guards in Solok, West Sumatra. Following the abuse, the inmate and his family complained to the relevant authorities. The inmate and his family’s eagerness to seek justice, […]

BANGLADESH: Adil, the man I know

You said to me “ I can bear anything” with stubborn eyes you faced the sun until blindness became a ball of flame and the flame turned the sea to salt. – Lu Xiaobo : Ne enemies , No Hatred It was few days ago that they came and dragged him to their vehicle and took […]

BANGLADESH: Shoddy tribunal has pushed the country to the verge of a civil war

The tribunal on war crimes established in March 2010 has pushed Bangladesh to extreme violence. Since 28 February, the events have taken a violent turn in which almost 100 persons including women, children and police officers have lost life. Several hundreds more are injured, and properties destroyed of which no body in the country has […]