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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Burma: Fear for the Safety of 7 Monks

There are serious concern for the safety of seven monks who were involved in the 23 November 1998, demonstration in Mandalay, Burma. The SPDC government is searching for the seven monks namely: 1. Ash...

Singapore: Petition to Ratify ICCPR and ICESR and Repeal the ISA

6 December 1998: 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Human Rights Day 80 people including former political detainees and many children, gathered at the Excelsior Hotel to mark the 50th anniversary of th...

Malaysia: Defense Lawyer Sentenced to 3 Months in Jail

Zainur Zakaria, a lawyer defending former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim against criminal charges, was sentenced to three months jail for contempt of court on November 30, 1998. Zainu...

Letter from Tian Chua

Dear friends, Got into PJ (Petaling Jaya) lock-up about 4:30 pm. Met Nusrat briefly at the police office, then the SBs quickly took me into the lock-up. The conditions – cleanliness wise –...

India: Signature Campaign for Dalits’ Human Rights

260 million Dalits are determined to cast out caste in the new millenium. The Dalits Human Rights Charter is produced by Dalit groups in India. They have lauched a signature campaign in India – ...

Malaysia: Re-Hearing of Remand Applications

The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to continue your support for justice and human rights in Malaysia. Further updates on AHRC Urgent Appeal on Malaysia. People are defying the police as the go...

SOUTH KOREA: SUH Joon-sik, A Human Rights Activist Arrested Again

A veteran human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience SUH Joon-sik, director of Saranobang Group for Human Ricihts in Korea was arrested by the police at Sarangbang offtce at 500 P,m. on 4...

Malaysia: Malaysian People’s Courageous Fight for Democracy

The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to continue your support for justice and human rights in Malaysia. Five persons are still detained under the Malaysian Internal Security Act [ISA]. Anwar det...

Malaysia: ISA Detentions and More Than 230 Detained for "Illegal Assembly"

The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to continue your support for justice and human rights in Malaysia. Five persons are still detained under the Malaysian Internal Security Law. Further updates...

Malaysia: Internal Security Detentions and Other Arrests

The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to continue your support for justice and human rights in Malaysia. One more person arrested under the Malaysian detentions Internal Security Law. Two human r...

Malaysia: 134 Arrested at Peaceful Rally Including Two Human Rights Defenders

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION URGENT APPEAL [UPDATE] The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to continue your support for justice and human rights in Malaysia. One more person arrested under the Ma...

Malaysia: Launch of the White Ribbon Campaign

Malaysia: Launch of the White Ribbon Campaign October 14, 1998 AHRC UA981015 Malaysia 15 October 1998 ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION URGENT APPEAL The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to SUPPORT ...

Malaysia: Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim Tortured

The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to take immediate action on the current Malaysian detentions under Internal Security Law. Further updates on AHRC Urgent Appeal on Malaysia 980922, updates 9...

south Korea: More than 100 Trade Unionists Detained

Abbreviations KCTU – Korean Confederation of Trade Unions KMWF – Korean Metal Workers Federation KFPU – Korean Federation of Public Sector Unions KTTU – Korea Telecom Trade Uni...

Malaysia: Detentions Under Internal Security Act (ISA)

The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to take immediate action on the current Malaysian detentions under Internal Security Law. Further updates on AHRC Urgent Appeal on Malaysia 980922 and update...

Cambodia: Monks Shot by Troops

The ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urge you to take immediate action on the Cambodian situation. The Asian Human Rights Commission has been informed by Cambodian Human Rights and Development Associatio...

Cambodia: An Appeal for Quick Recounting of Votes

Just a month ago, 26 July 1998, Cambodia help its elections for the National State Assembly. Immidiately after the counting ended on the 27th, two opposition parties made complaints to the National El...

Sri Lanka: Allegation of Mass Grave of About 400 Bodies – No Investigations

Former Lance Corporal Somaratne Rajapakse has received severe injuries after being attacked by his prison guards at Colombo’s Welikade jail for alleging revealing the existence of a mass grave i...

Sri Lanka: Investigate Crimes Against Humanity

10 August 1998 the International Federation of Tamils appeals to the United Nations Sub Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities that upon the Rome Statute of the Intern...

south Korea: Release of Political Prisoners: A Mockery Again

In commemoration of the independence of Korea from Japanese colonial rule on 15 August 1945, the government of the Republic of Korea announced a special amnesty on 14 August 1998. In spite of repeated...