ASIA: Weekly Roundup, Episode 74

In this week’s Roundup, AHRC TV reports on the refugee crisis in the Andaman Sea, where thousands of Rohingya people have languished in rickety boats for weeks, fleeing persecution in Burma. Finally, this week, after much international pressure, Malaysia, Indonesia, and The Philippines have allowed the boatpeople to come ashore for temporary shelter. A long-term solution is, however, far from agreed upon; AHRC’s Executive Director Bijo Francis comments.

Next in the programme, as life in post-earthquake Nepal starts to get back to normal, clinical psychologist Dr. Rajat Mitra explains how post-traumatic stress may cause additional problems for communities after such devastating natural disasters, and how this demands sensitive handling. 

In Pakistan, human rights defender Javeria Younes explains how, despite legal guarantees of equality for men and women, which are enshrined in the Constitution, women are systematically denied their rights, including their voting rights. In a recent local election in Dir District in Khyber Pakthunkhuwa Northern Province not a single woman amongst a female electorate of 53,000 was allowed to vote. A legal challenge to void the election has been submitted in court. 

Finally, AHRC TV reports from Burma and the sentencing of six activists to over four years in prison for peaceful protest, indicating that real democracy is still a fantasy in the country. AHRC calls for the release of all political prisoners in Burma. To learn more, AHRC TV interviews Chief Court Advocate, Robert San Aung. 

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