Urgent Appeals

Extended Introduction: Urgent Appeals, theory and practice

A need for dialogue

Many people across Asia are frustrated by the widespread lack of respect for human rights in their countries. Some may be unhappy about the limitations on the freedom of expression or restrictions on privacy, while some are affected by police brutality and military killings. Many others are frustrated with the absence of rights on labour issues, the environment, gender and the like. Yet the expression of this frustration tends to stay firmly in the private sphere. People complain among friends and family and within their social circles, but often on a low profile basis. This kind of public discourse is not usually an effective measure of the situation in a country because it is so hard to monitor. Though the media may cover the issues in a broad manner they rarely broadcast the private fears and anxieties of the average person. And along with censorship – a common blight in Asia – there is also often a conscious attempt in the media to reflect a positive or at least sober mood at home, where expressions of domestic malcontent are discouraged as unfashionably unpatriotic. Talking about issues like torture is rarely encouraged in the public realm. There may also be unwritten, possibly unconscious social taboos that stop the public reflection of private grievances. Where authoritarian control is tight, sophisticated strategies are put into play by equally sophisticated media practices to keep complaints out of the public space, sometimes very subtly. In other places an inner consensus is influenced by the privileged section of a society, which can control social expression of those less fortunate. Moral and ethical qualms can also be an obstacle. In this way, causes for complaint go unaddressed, un-discussed and unresolved and oppression in its many forms, self perpetuates. For any action to arise out of private frustration, people need ways to get these issues into the public sphere.
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INDIA: Harassment and detention of students and professors of Manipur University

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Human Rights Alert, Manipur regarding the continued harassment and detention of the students of Manipur University....

INDONESIA: Polish citizen and indigenous Papuans arrested and detained by police

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the local network in Jayawijaya Regency, Papua, regarding the arrest and detention of one Polish tourist and other ...

INDONESIA: Woman convicted of blasphemy for commenting on Mosque’s loudspeaker volume

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding criminal charges against Mrs. Meiliana, for requesting to lower the volume of the Azaan (call to prayer) in th...

INDONESIA: Environmental activists convicted by Semarang Court

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), a national human rights organization, regardi...

INDONESIA: Military court III-19 Jayapura Papua must examine witnesses from victim’s family

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), a national human rights organization,...

INDONESIA: Military judges must effectively prosecute torture and death of Papuan man

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), a national human rights organization,...

INDONESIA: Police and government staff forcibly dispersed movie screening in Papuan students’ dormitory

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding intimidation, harassment and forced dispersal of a discussion and movie screening organized by Papuan students...

INDIA: Peaceful student protesters met with police brutality in Manipur

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights(YFPHR) regarding the brutality of Manipur’s police personnel a...

INDONESIA: Papuan human rights defender intimated and threatened by Yahukimo Regent’s campaign staff

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the terror and intimidation experienced by Mr. Theo Hesegem, a Papuan human rights defender. Prior to this int...

NEPAL: Ganga Maya is dying for justice; urgent intervention needed to save her life

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Advocacy Forum that Ganga Maya Adhikari from Fujel, Gorkha district has started another hunger strike demanding...

INDONESIA: Ahmadiyya congregation in Lombok Timur brutally attacked and forcibly evicted

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the brutal attack and forced eviction of Ahmadiyya homes in Lombok Timur committed by anti-tolerant groups. Th...

PHILIPPINES: Indigenous peasant leader killed while two indigenous communities forcibly displaced due to militarization

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you about the killing of an indigenous peasant leader in Agusan del Norte and the displacement of two indigenous communi...

PHILIPPINES: Four people arrested and implicated in three separate false cases

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you about the wrongful arrest of four people in three separate cases. In the first case, a human rights defender was denied her ...

INDONESIA: Company confiscated customary land belonging to a local indigenous tribe in West Papua

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) regarding a customary land dispute between Bintuni Agro Prima Perkasa Co...

PHILIPPINES: Two women activists killed in separate incidents while urban poor office harassed

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you about the killing of two women activists in separate incidents, and the harassment of the urban poor office. One of ...

PHILIPPINES: Five peasants arrested as alleged rebels in Cagayan Valley

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you regarding the arrest and trumped up charges against five peasants in Cagayan Valley. The military claims the five farmers ar...

PHILIPPINES: Peasant leader killed for land rights campaign in Negros

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you about the killing of a peasant leader in Negros Occidental. The victim actively led landrights campaign in their are...

PHILIPPINES: Civilians tagged as rebels and killed in two separate alleged encounters

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you about the killing of civilians in two separate encounters by the military. Three civilians were killed in Camarines ...

PHILIPPINES: Catholic priest allegedly killed for his advocacy in Cagayan

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you about the killing of a priest in Cagayan. Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura was known for being an anti-mining advocate and s...

PHILIPPINES: Government petition lists human rights defenders as “terrorists”

Dear Friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you regarding the labeling of human rights defenders and activists as terrorists. The human rights defenders in the petition bel...