ASIA: ABC Kimberley radio interview on the meeting of the parliamentarians
We are pleased to forward the full text and the audio of an interview with Mr. Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and ABC Kimberley about the meeting of the parliamentarians held in Hong Kong between July 21-24, 2012.
You may listen to the audio recording of the interview here.
The full text of the article may be found here.
Police torture targeted by Asian leaders
Human rights activists and MP's from across Asia are taking steps to wipe out police torture, with a three-day meeting on the issue finishing in Hong Kong on Monday.
MPs from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Hong Kong sat down with leading human rights activists to consider how the practice can be stopped.
The policy director at the Asian Human Rights Commission, Basil Fernando, says the meeting was a significant step forward because it involved politicians who have influence in their home nations.
"The problem of police torture is quite widespread and this requires to be addressed if the rule of law is to be preserved," Mr Fernando told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program.
"We are talking about an enormous problem, it's not about some kind of aberration or some few people, some bad eggs problem."
Mr Fernando says in some countries police are used as a political weapon by the government, while in others they can be a law unto themselves.
He says there needs to be legislation to criminalise torture, as well as compensation and rehabilitation for the victims.
"There's a kind of idea that policing without torture is impossible. The police declare this very openly."
Mr Fernando says it is a good sign that governments that may have previously turned a blind eye to torture are now conceding it is wrong.
"There'd never been a very concerted effort to push this idea forcefully. But now it has begun to happen."