AHRC TV: Death toll rises in Pakistan’s third deadliest attack and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 228

This week Just Asia begins with Pakistan, where 149 people have died in a suicide bomb attack in Balochistan’s Mastung district. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at an election rally of the Balochistan Awami Party on Friday afternoon. The death toll continues to rise, with more than a hundred others injured. This was the third deadliest attack in Pakistan’s history after the Karsaz bombing in 2008 and an attack on a Peshawar school in 2014.

Next, police in Manipur, India, pushed a protester in front of a moving truck Monday, causing severe injuries. Students were protesting for the removal of Manipur University’s Vice Chancellor, on July 16 at the Governor’s House. He is now undergoing medical treatment together with other injured protesters.

In Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province, 15 people, including five women, were punished with public caning last Friday, for violating Sharia law. Two men accused of being gay received 87 lashes each for gay sex, while nine others were sentenced up to 26 lashes for adultery. Four people were caned for being drunk, including one woman who received 27 lashes. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, Aceh province follows strict Islamic laws, which make sexual activity outside marriage and same-sex relations illegal.

India’s Supreme Court has concluded hearing the petitions challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which effectively criminalises homosexuality. The five-member bench hearing the petition to decriminalize gay sex has made positive observations regarding the fundamental rights of the LGBT+ community. The bench also noted the power of the Supreme Court to strike down laws that violate fundamental rights. While the judgment has been reserved, it is expected that the Court will strike down section 377.

Next, in Indonesia, Sunday, 15 July 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of the final report of the Commission of Truth and Friendship of Indonesia and East Timor. The report made five important recommendations, including accountability and establishing a commission on disappeared persons. While these recommendations are discussed annually by the delegations of the two countries, there has been no significant progress to address the gross human rights violations that occurred in East Timor during the 1999 referendum.

Finally, the Urgent Appeals Weekly has one case from Indonesia.

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