This episode of Just Asia begins with Indonesia, where a public protest called for the dissolution of Indonesia’s Anti-Terror Police Unit. The protest followed the death of Mr. Siyono, one day after being arrested by the Police Unit on March 10. Although the police claimed Siyono died from fighting police personnel, an independent autopsy revealed that Siyono was hit by a blunt object, resulting in a broken rib bone piercing his heart, which led to his death.
Moving to Nepal, on April 3 Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli summoned the National Human Rights Commissioner Mohna Ansari and other members, seeking clarification on Ansari’s statement during the March Universal Periodic Review session held in Geneva. As a constitutional body, the NHRC is guaranteed autonomy and independence to oversee the country’s human rights issues.
In Thailand, murder witness and land rights defender Mr. Supoj Kansong was shot eight times by an unidentified gunman on April 8. Mr. Kansong was a witness to the assassination of Mr. Chai Boonthonglek, a land rights defender of the Khlong Sai Pattana community. The attack on Mr. Kansong is now the fifth attempt made on rights defenders of the Khlong Sai Pattana community. Mr. Kansong’s condition is being medically assessed at Chaiburi hospital.
Pakistan’s Christian minority largely live in illegal settlements and are forced to work in cleaning and sanitation occupations. Apart from the challenges they face in accessing clean water, food and electricity, the residents of these illegal settlements are now also facing threats from the land mafia. Just Asia speaks to Asif Aqeel to learn more.
Next, Burma saw the release of student protesters from Tharawaddy Prison on April 8. Charges against them and their supporters were also dismissed. Most of them were arrested last year during their protest calling for amendment of the Education Law. According to a government notice, more political prisoners will be released after the new year holiday under an amnesty.
Finally, the Urgent Appeals Weekly features two stories from Pakistan and the Philippines.
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