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: Military harass trade unionists in Compostela Valley

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is deeply concerned about the harassment faced by residents and trade unionists of banana plantations affiliated to the May First Labor Movement ...

INDIA: Ensure that harassment and surveillance of Mr. Urikhimbham, and his organisation is stopped

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Human Rights Initiative, the Committee on Human Rights, Human Rights Alert, and Centre for Research and Advocac...

INDONESIA: Residents of Sumberanyar Village Fight For Land Rights But Are Criminalized And Intimidated

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received the following information. It comes from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), East Java Province br...

INDONESIA: Environment activists in Tumpang Pitu sentenced to 10-month imprisonment

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the Banyuwangi district court’s sentence of Mr. Heri Budiawan alias Budi Pego, an environment activi...

INDONESIA: Army Personnel Tortured Indigenous Papuan Man to Death

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received the following information. It comes from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), a prominent national ...

INDIA: Harassment of activists working to ensure an impartial investigation into the suspicious death of Manipuri youth Pravish Chanam

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information from the Youth Forum for the Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR), Manipur about the harassment of activists who a...

NEPAL: Reckless Police Officer Causes a Minor to Lose Her Eyesight

Dear Friends, The Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRDA) has informed the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) about the following teenager. She is Muni Paswan Das, the 15-year-old daughter of ...

INDONESIA: Environment in Talang Mountain must be protected while law enforcement must be fair and objective

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Padang Legal Aid (LBH Padang) about a Geothermal project plan to be developed in the area of Talang Mountain, W...

INDIA: Ensure whistleblower Thounaojam Herojit Singh is provided protection, his statement recorded, and his diaries produced as evidence by the CBI

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information from Human Rights Alert(HRA), our partner organization in Manipur regarding the revelations made by Head Constab...

NEPAL: Dalit woman beaten after rejecting illicit sexual relationship

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRDA) that a Dalit woman was beaten after she rejected a demand to have...

INDONESIA: Resident of Taliabu Island tortured to death in military post

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

PAKISTAN: Peasant leader and lawyer disappeared from jail by the intelligence agency

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding a unique type of disappearance of a peasant leader and lawyer who was disappeared from inside the jail...

PAKISTAN: Call to arrest Provincial Minister for abduction and torture of Fishermen’s leaders

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the abduction and torture of a human rights defender and the Chairperson of the Pakistan Fisher Folk F...

PAKISTAN: Salman Mujahid Baloch-MNA, must be arrested for abduction and torture of a Christian man

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the abduction of a Christian employee, serving as a car driver, by local group Baldia town. It was the...

INDONESIA: Student activist victim of brutal attack by police officer

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Indonesian Nationalist Students Movement (GMNI), branch office of East Nusa Tenggara Province (NTT), about a po...

PAKISTAN: Appeal for safe recovery of Sagheer Ahmed disappeared after pick up from University

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received the following up-dated information. It concerns the enforced disappearance of a 21 year-old student from one of Karachi University...

INDONESIA: Danamon Bank Labor Activists criminally charged and detained after organizing a peaceful protest

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Danamon Bank Labor Union about two situations. The First is information related with the criminalization and de...

PAKISTAN: Recover peace activist Raza Khan picked up by unknown persons

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the abduction and disappearance of a peace and civil society activist, Mr. Raza Mehmood Khan. Since he...

INDONESIA: Development of Kulon Progo Airport continues despite lack of Environmental Permit and rampant violence

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about two important situations. First, there was a brutal attack against local community members and student activists i...

PHILIPPINES: Two human rights defenders killed and one wounded while conducting a Fact- Finding Mission in Negros Oriental

Dear Friends,  The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you that two human rights defenders were killed and one wounded by unknown armed men in Negros Oriental. The victims w...