AHRC TV: Over a thousand deaths in Indonesia earthquake and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 237

This week Just Asia begins with Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province, which was hit by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake last Friday, followed by a tsunami. Official figures are reporting the deaths of 1,234 people. Indonesia’s geophysics agency (BMKG) has faced criticism over its handling of a tsunami warning. Indonesian President Joko Widodo is accepting international help for urgent disaster relief in Palu and Dongala. There is a lack of drinking water, food and electricity in the affected areas. More than 16,700 people have been displaced.

Next, an Indian man was shot dead by a police constable in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in the early hours of Saturday morning. An employee at Apple, 38-year-old Vivek Tiwari was driving an SUV which, according to the police, he did not stop despite being asked to. This excessive use of force by the police has received criticism from various quarters and Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister has stated that the guilty will not be spared.

Moving to Burma, a human rights organization has revealed mobile phone video footage showing the Burmese army’s plan to conduct a “clearance operation” to forcibly deport the Rohingya minority group in Rakhine, shot prior to the August 2017 military crackdown.
Fortify Rights, based in South-east Asia and registered in Switzerland and the US, said the recently analysed footage provides important evidence for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider, regarding crimes against Rohingya.

Next, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte made remarks in which he appeared to take responsibility for extrajudicial killings in the country. In August, activists and families of eight victims of the Philippines’ “war on drugs” called for the president’s indictment over thousands of extrajudicial killings during his crackdown on drugs. President Duterte is currently facing two charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC.

In Pakistan, India’s historic verdict to decriminalize gay sex last month was met with celebration amongst the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The Pakistani LGBT community lives under threat of Section 377, the 157-year-old British colonial era law criminalizing homosexual sex. Moreover, under Sharia Law, the punishment for homosexual sex is stoning until death. This is why almost all LGBT members in Pakistan keep their sexuality a secret.

Finally, the Urgent Appeals Weekly features one case from Manipur, India.

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