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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SRI LANKA: Over 30,000 disappearances remain unresolved

The United Nations Human Rights Commission is currently having its annual meeting in Geneva. AHRC believes that this is an opportune time to insist that the UN establish an International Tribunal to i...

EAST TIMOR: Indonesian pre-1999 war criminals not being brought to justice

MARCH 15: The UN is currently investigating crimes against humanity that have occurred in East Timor. Recent inquiries in East Timor have revealed that the UN does not intend to prosecute anyone other...

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Indonesian national sentenced to death by stoning

MARCH 8: We have received some very disturbing information from the Indonesian Women’s Solidarity for Human Rights organisation (Perserikatan Solidaritas Perempuan) regarding an Indonesian domes...

EAST TIMOR: Village of Lolotoi fails to receive food or medical assistance

MARCH 5: Paul Harris, a prominent lawyer based in Hong Kong, recently visited East Timor for the purposes of fact-finding, to see how he could be of assistance to the recovery of East Timor and to del...

PAKISTAN: Bulldozers set to move in on katchi abadi

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received this appeal from the:  Urban Resource Centre  3/48 Mualomabad Khalid Bin Walid Road  Karachi 74800 Pakistan.  We are forwarding it below for appropri...

PAKISTAN: Bulldozers set to move in on katchi abadi

Dear friends,  Our friend Aasim Akhtar from federal capital Islamabad informed us that the authorities are planning a massive bulldozing operation in Islamabad.  I am forwarding this message with a ...

ACEH: 5 Students leaders and their driver arrested and

8 MARCH 2000: Five student activists and their driver were arrested in East Aceh as they were returning from a meeting in Lhokseumawe. Their precise whereabouts is currently unknown, but they are prob...

THAILAND: Max Ediger released on bail but 6 Burmese minorities remain in detention.

THAILAND: Max Ediger released on bail but 6 Burmese minorities remain in detention.  11 February 2000 Mr. Norman Max Ediger, an American missionary and peace and human rights activist, was bailed out...

SRI LANKA: Gang of 14 operate with impunity

This report is from a weekly newspaper in Sri Lanka Irida Peramuna (Sunday Leader) dated 20 February 2000. Sirigampola is a village close to Wennappuwa which is situated quite close to Negombo, (along...

UPDATE(THAILAND): MAX EDIGER AND THE 6 BURMESE DETAINEES

MARCH 16: We have just received information that the six Burmese who were being detained in association with the incident involving Max Ediger have been s free! They have been ‘deported’ t...

THAILAND: OPEN LETTER TO H.E. Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai Investigation on the seizure of Ratchaburi Central Hospital

Dear Friends,  Attached with this message is the press rlease on the hostage taking by armed Karen group called \”Gods Army\”. There are allegations that some of the armed men were killed...

INDIA: Social Reformist Asghar Ali Engineer attacked

Social Reformermist Dr.Asghar Ali Engineer was attacked by a fundamentalist group headed by Syedna Mohammed Burdanuddin, head of the Bohra community, at the Santacruz airport yesterday. Ali Engineer w...

SOUTH KOREA: Exposed South Korean Soldiers Massacred Vietnamese during Vietnam War

Last year, the Associated Press reports exposed that U.S soldiers massacred Korean civilians during the Korean War and the most documented of these killing happen in Nogunri. It is well known that Kor...

SRI LANKA FURTHER ACTION: Judicial Officer’s Constitutional Rights Violated

The Case of former Judge M.P. Wijesiriwardene  We are bring you the following up date on this case which we brought to your notice last year. (For your easy reference we attach the original appeal be...

INDONESIA/ACEH: Human rights activist, Sukardi, 30, killed

31 January 2000, Sukardi, 30, of Yayasan Rumpun Bambu Indonesia (YRBI), was abducted, tortured and killed in Tapak Tuan, South Aceh. Sukardi was a volunteer with local environmentalist group YRBI [Bam...

INDONESIA/ACEH: Humanitarian workers and human rights activist attacked

Humanitarian workers and activist who are assistings victims of the on going arms conflict are often not welcome by both the armed rebels and the Indonesian military. Humanitarian workers and activist...

MALAYSIA: A Serious Crackdown in Malaysia

  It is reported that several arrests are taking place in Malaysia, which the human rights activists and observers describe as a crack down on the opposition. The most significant among them is t...

SRI LANKA: Systematic Detention,Torture, Rape and Murder as Weapon of War

The Sri Lankan security forces are using systematic rape and murder of Tamil women to subjugate the Tamil population.  28 December 1999, Mrs.Sarathambal Saravanbavananthakurukal, 29, was forcibly dra...

Tian Chua Released on Bail and Hundreds Charged for \"Illegal Assembly\"

AHRC UA990505 Malaysia 05 May 1999 ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION URGENT APPEAL 20 April 99 released on bail Tian Chua, chairperson of Gagasan Demokrasi Rakyat and Malek Hussain who were remanded for s...

Sri Lanka: Judicial Officer’s Constitutional Rights Violated

AHRC UA990426 Sri Lanka 26 April 1999 ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION URGENT APPEAL A Judicial Officer, Mr. M. Percy Wijesiriwardena, with nearly 12 years experience who had worked in several parts of t...