Urgent Appeals

Extended Introduction: Urgent Appeals, theory and practice

A need for dialogue

Many people across Asia are frustrated by the widespread lack of respect for human rights in their countries. Some may be unhappy about the limitations on the freedom of expression or restrictions on privacy, while some are affected by police brutality and military killings. Many others are frustrated with the absence of rights on labour issues, the environment, gender and the like. Yet the expression of this frustration tends to stay firmly in the private sphere. People complain among friends and family and within their social circles, but often on a low profile basis. This kind of public discourse is not usually an effective measure of the situation in a country because it is so hard to monitor. Though the media may cover the issues in a broad manner they rarely broadcast the private fears and anxieties of the average person. And along with censorship – a common blight in Asia – there is also often a conscious attempt in the media to reflect a positive or at least sober mood at home, where expressions of domestic malcontent are discouraged as unfashionably unpatriotic. Talking about issues like torture is rarely encouraged in the public realm. There may also be unwritten, possibly unconscious social taboos that stop the public reflection of private grievances. Where authoritarian control is tight, sophisticated strategies are put into play by equally sophisticated media practices to keep complaints out of the public space, sometimes very subtly. In other places an inner consensus is influenced by the privileged section of a society, which can control social expression of those less fortunate. Moral and ethical qualms can also be an obstacle. In this way, causes for complaint go unaddressed, un-discussed and unresolved and oppression in its many forms, self perpetuates. For any action to arise out of private frustration, people need ways to get these issues into the public sphere.
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PHILIPPINES: Catholic priest allegedly killed for his advocacy in Cagayan

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you about the killing of a priest in Cagayan. Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura was known for being an anti-mining advocate and s...

PHILIPPINES: Government petition lists human rights defenders as “terrorists”

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you regarding the labeling of human rights defenders and activists as terrorists. The human rights defenders in the petition bel...

PHILIPPINES: Peasant leader killed for campaigning against mining in Compostela Valley

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you of the killing of a peasant leader in Compostela Valley. The victim and his organization were actively campaigning a...

NEPAL: Dalits barred from entering temple in Bara district

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRDA) that 50 Dalit households are barred from entering the local Shiva...

INDONESIA : Villagers shot arbitrarily by West Sumba police in land dispute

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), a credible national civil society organization, about a land disp...

PHILIPPINES: NDF consultant and her husband disappeared in Kidapawan City

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you about the disappearance of National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant and her husband. The couple last contacted their relat...

INDIA: Lack of proper investigation and protection in gangrape case of a minor girl in Manipur

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) in Manipur, regarding the gangrape of a minor girl in Th...

INDONESIA: Yogyakarta public lawyers attacked and prevented from providing legal assistance by police

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the police attack on six public lawyers of the Yogyakarta Legal Aid (LBH Yogyakarta). Moreover, the police als...

INDONESIA: Pandeglang man sentenced with five-years imprisonment and 100 million Rupiah fine for Facebook entries

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the trial process of Mr. Anoldy Bahari, a resident of Gadog village, Cibitung sub-district, Pandeglang...

INDONESIA: Pandeglang man criminally charged and prosecuted due to his Facebook entries

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from LBH Jakarta (Jakarta Legal Aid), SAFEnet, and Sejuk. All of them are civil society organizations that monitored and...

INDONESIA: Residents in Krembangan East Java forcibly evicted from their houses and then occupied by the Navy

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding cases of forced evictions. They were conducted by the Indonesian Navy (Lantamal V TNI AL) against local reside...

INDIA: Police Intimidation and Harassment of Human Rights Activist in Manipur

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about the harassment and intimidation of a human rights activists in Manipur from our partner organisation Human Rights ...

INDONESIA: Light punishment for unlawful arrest and torture to death of Mr. La Gode

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information from the Commission for the Disappearances and Victims of Violence, KontraS (a national human rights organizatio...

INDONESIA: East Java High Court sentenced environmental activist to 10-month imprisonment

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the East Java High Court sentencing of Mr. Heri Budiawan, alias Budi Pego, an environmental activist, ...

INDONESIA: A young man wrongfully shot with live bullets in Luwuk Banggai Central Sulawesi

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information of the wrongful shooting of a young man, Aldi Prasetya, carried out by Police Officers of the Central Sulawesi Regional ...

NEPAL: Plain-clothed police hit innocent citizen for not paying bribe

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRDA) that Mr. Santosh Shah was stopped by plain-clothed Assistant Sub-...

INDONESIA: Anti-corruption activist brutally attacked after filing police report

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the case of violence against Mr. Ali Nurdin, the chairperson of Gempur, a non-governmental organization (NGO),...

INDONESIA : Peasants in Rokan Hilir brutally attacked to force them to hand over their land

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding a brutal attack against a local famer in Rokan Hilir Regency, Riau Province. Mr. Rajiman, a local palm oil far...

INDIA: Human Rights Defender and family in Manipur intimidated by the Army and the Manipur Police

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Human Rights Alert, Manipur regarding the harassment meted out to their employee, activist Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam an...

NEPAL: Women’s rights activist kicked by a Police Officer ahead of International Women’s Day

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRDA) about the following local, human rights activist, Ms. Ambaya Khat...