By Basil Fernando
The Amnesty Intentional has published a collection of poems titled ‘ Silenced Shadows’. It’s a collection of 15 poems and translations of the said poems into all three languages, Sinhalese, Tamil and English. Originally, Amnesty International called for poems on enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka and selected 15 poems for publication. Five of the poems were written in Sinhala , five in Tamil and five in English. Now a very powerful collection of poems are available for readers in all the three languages.
The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has seen curfew for the last 41 days. Sixty-six persons have been killed, as a result of the “actions” of government forces. Most of the channels of communication remain blocked. It is reported that the authorities have gagged the media. There are concerns that even essential supplies are failing to reach most citizens. This is what the state has been witnessing in the last 41 days.
The pattern on display in the Bombay High Court yesterday, 9 May 2016, was not that of the cycle of drought affecting millions. It was that of callous – bordering on malicious – governance.
For millions of Indians hit by the devastating drought, death comes in myriad forms. Farmers’ suicides – oft reported by the media and denied by the State – are one of them. A recent and surprising pattern of drought death is heart attacks to those waiting in water collection queues.
Who can enjoy any of the basic human rights guaranteed to them by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 through the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217, if they face chronic hunger, or even worse, starvation? The answer to the question is simple. The rights guaranteed by the UDHR to peoples of all nations would be nothing more than a cruel joke on them.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental right that exists only on paper in Pakistan. Each year thousands of Christians, forming 13% of the total population, suffer at the hands of religious bigots who use blasphemy as an excuse to ruin their life. Christian girls are increasingly being forced to convert to Islam. According to a report released by Pakistani NGO Aurat Foundation on 13 July 2015, around 1,000 girls are forced to convert to Islam every year in Pakistan. The victims of these forced conversions are largely girls from the Pakistani Christian and Hindu communities.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) calls for the release of all detained student protesters from prison, who have been charged with multiple sections. Student protesters awaiting trial have spent more than six months in prison, prosecuted under sections 143, 145, 147, 332 and 505(b) of the Myanmar Penal Code, allegedly over unlawful assembly and alarming the public. These students were demanding an amendment to the education law enacted last year and faced a brutal crackdown by the police on 10 March 2015.
The Investigation Report issued by the Office of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) dated 16th September 2015, is the most comprehensive report on human rights issued by any international or national agency to date. It is comprehensive and balanced. If implemented it could lead to considerable positive developments in Sri Lanka. This 261 page report sums up some of the most serious problems relating to the rule of law and the administration of justice that have arisen over a considerable period of time.
H. E. Hun Sen
Royal Government of Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
6 July 2015
Re: Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations
Dear Prime Minister Hun Sen,
Owing to a mountainous topography, many parts of Nepal are inaccessible during monsoon season; travelling to those more accessible can also be perilous at this time due to landslides. The problems that monsoons bring are more severe this year in aftermath of the devastating earthquake on April 25, and its destructive aftershock on May 12, itself measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale. The earthquakes have killed more than 8,500 people, affecting millions in Nepal, more than half of whom remain displaced.
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission on the occasion of the international day in support of victims of torturen
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has over the past 15 years documented close to 3,000 cases of torture from Asia. Most of these cases are reported through AHRC's Urgent Appeals Programme by partner organisations working in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Philippines, and Thailand.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is particularly concerned about the residents of villages in Nepal devastated by the impact of a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake, and its destructive aftershocks. The loss of human lives, over 7,000 and counting, and the destruction of infrastructure supporting daily lives, already under stress in one of the poorest countries on earth, has been terrible. Food, water and medical resources are scarce. So many need help; it is overwhelming to even fathom where to begin.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) strongly condemns the attacks on two Churches and mourns the murder in cold blood of innocent Christians.
Police excess is quiet a norm in Pakistan but on January 23 police transcend their authority and baton charged school children who were demanding that their school run by trust be reopened and administration not handed over to government. The students of Government Islamia High School near Bhati Gate Lahore along with their parents were protesting outside the school against the school’s takeover by the government. The school was being run by the Ghazi Education and Welfare Trust for nearly eight years, but recently the government took over the charge of running the school’s affairs.
he Asian Human Rights Commission has received shocking reports of journalists having to face the worst ordeals possible, during the course of the year 2014. Four journalists and five of their supporting staff have been killed by “un-known” persons and more than 38 journalists were attacked and injured by the police and mostly by those representing political parties who are conducting political agitation in the country’s capital Islamabad calling for the government to step down on charges of mass corruption.
The government must ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
A transitional justice process provides credibility to the peace process. Peace does not exist in vacuum, and it does not mean only an absence of war. In order to have a lasting and genuine peace, justice and rule of law must be ensured. Transitional justice is a multi-dimensional process and it requires a range of measures to deal with past abuses. Nepal underwent a decade long armed conflict. During the conflict, massive violation of international law and international human rights law took place. The serious violations of human rights should not go unpunished.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is gravely concerned to have learned that NanthapongBunpong, a human rights defender and student activist at Mahasarakham University, is being arbitrarily detained by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). According to information provided by the Thai Student Centre for Democracy, Nanthaphong was summoned by Major ChaidanKohkaew, from the Peace and Order Maintaining Command (POMC) of Mahasarakham, and ordered to report to the POMC Mahasarakham Headquarters in the Mahasarakham Governmental Complex at 1 PM on the 18th of July.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Twenty sixth session, Agenda Item 3, General Debates
A written submission to the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre