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SRI LANKA: Rizana Nafeek executed - President Mr. Rajapaksha bears full responsibility for this death

(AHRC STATEMENT) According to reports received, the Government of Saudi Arabia executed Ms. Rizana Nafeek on 9 January 2013. The embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh has confirmed this report. The AHRC wishes to categorically state, that the singular responsibility for this innocent young Sri Lankan woman's death is upon the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha. His office and the government led by him shamelessly neglected the life of this innocent Sri Lankan woman, who remained incarcerated aboard since May 2005.

PAKISTAN: Journalist and human rights defender implicated in an honour killing - police refuse to protect him:

(AHRC URGENT APPEALS) The AHRC has received information that a journalist/human rights defender has been implicated in an honour killing by a powerful tribe to punish him for raising the issue of the domestic abuse and murder of a woman, who had been declared Kari.

Villager and monk brutally and bizarrely tortured for a week to confess to rape and murder:

(AHRC URGENT APPEALS) The AHRC has received extensive information about the case of a young man and a monk whom police accused of raping and murdering a young woman and tortured brutally for a week in 2010 in order to force a confession with which to convict the two.

What is fundamentally wrong with the criminal justice system?

(AHRC STATEMENT) The ensuing debates after the rape in Delhi has thrown up several opinions, some poignantly valid and others ridiculous, about what changes are to be made to the criminal justice process to effectively address the scornful menace of rape and forms of sexual violence in India.

Concern over Prime Minister's order to halt investigation into the abduction, torture and murder of a journalist.

(AHRC URGENT APPEALS) The AHRC condemns reports that the government of Nepal has been putting pressure on the Attorney General Office and Police Headquarters to halt investigations into the abduction and murder of a journalist, Dekendra Raj Thapa, by Maoist cadres in Dhailekh District in 2004, at the heart of the decade long internal conflict.

Whether it is proper to name or make public pictures of rape victims:

(AHRC ARTICLE) Following are some concerns expressed by Mrs. Zubeida Mustafa, a senior journalist- zubeidam2@gmail.com, about the consequences of publishing pictures and other identity details of rape victims: By doing so, the AHRC also invites other interested parties to express their point of view if they feel that further aspects need to be pointed.It is good that AHRC highlights such cases as they are the only way to get justice for the victims in a brutalised society where there is no rule or law...... 

The AHRC condemns and protests against the calculated Shia extermination taking place in the country:

(AHRC STATEMENT) On January 10th 2013, the New Year in Pakistan started with a gruesome bang of a continuing holocaust of sectarian cleansing in which Quetta witnessed 4 bomb blasts targeting Hazara Shias. The death toll of the day was 102 dead and hundreds injured. The day has been labeled as Black Thursday.

Supreme Court's order puts question mark on democracy:

(AHRC STATEMENT) In a surprising move, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has directed the National Accountability Bureau to arrest the Prime Minister of Pakistan in the Rental Power Projects Cases. On 15.01.2013 the Supreme Court of Pakistan over reached its judicial power and all boundaries of its jurisdiction. The court, once again, has usurped the executive powers making investigations in crimes its domain....

Debate on constitutionality of Cybercrime Law:

(AHRC ARTICLE) On January 15th, the Philippines Supreme Court will hear petitions challenging the Constitutionality of the newly approved law, Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175). The law was approved in September 12, 2012, but the SC issued a Temporary Restraining Order  after petitions were filed questioning the conformity of the law to the 1987 Constitution and the country's obligation for protection of freedom of expression in international law.

Problems in enforcing Anti-Torture and Cybercrime Laws:

(AHRC STATEMENT) On January 15, the Supreme Court of the Philippines heard oral arguments questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and its conformity to international norms and standards. The Cybercrime Prevention Act is one of the many unprecedented pieces of legislation in the Philippines in recent years. The Cybercrime Law is expected to protect private individuals from cyber bullying, protect women and children from being sexually trafficked online...

UK Foreign Office and France condemn killing of Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia:

(AHRC STATEMENT) Both the United Kingdom Foreign Office and France issued statements condemning the killing of Rizana Nafeek. However, the Sri Lankan government which expressed sadness about the killing did not make any statement specifically condemning the killing...

Lessons to be learned from the failure to save Rizana Nafeek:

(AHRC STATMENT) From the day on which Rizana was arrested on a false charge of murder to the day of her execution, seven years elapsed. During this time, if proper diplomatic effort was made with the required seriousness, the life of this young girl could have been saved. The following are some of the reasons for the failure on the part of the Sri Lankan government to get this girl released....

A crisis of the state:

(AHRC STATEMENT) The parliament in Sri Lanka, in defiance of the judgement of the Court of Appeal which was based on the interpretation of law provided by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, on January 10, started a debate on the impeachment of the Chief Justice. A vote on the impeachment will be taken at the end of the debate and the President of Sri Lanka is thereafter expected to make an address for the removal of the Chief Justice.

13 Jan, 2013 - The 1978 Constitution is fulfilled:

(AHRC ARTICLE) Today, with the President of Sri Lanka signing the removal notice of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, the 1978 constitution came to be fulfilled: The 1978 constitution is a representation of the conflict between the rule of law and the absolute power of the executive president. The historical circumstances in 1978 were not right for the fulfillment of this constitution. 34 years later, with the progressive deterioration of all the positive factors of the previous period, the final fulfillment of the 1978 constitution has come.

Proposing Mohan Peiris as CJ belies the claim that the impeachment was all about integrity:

(AHRC STATEMENT) It has been reported that the name of Mohan Peiris has been proposed as one of the names for the office of Chief Justice by the Sri Lankan government. If the role of the chief justice is to be that of a stooge of the government perhaps there is hardly anyone more suited to the post that Mr. Peiris.

The president's choice for Chief Justice is no respecter of the law:

(AHRC STATEMENT) This morning, according to reports, the main gates leading to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka remained closed and heavily guarded in order to prevent the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from entering in order to continue to function as the legitimate holder of the post of Chief Justice. She has rejected the ouster by the president as illegal.

Take care of three of us - A call for help:

(AHRC ARTICLE) As the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake left her official residence under duress from the heavy police squad that surrounded her and tried to prevent her from making any statement, she still managed to say a few words reaffirming her innocence and telling that all that she did was according to the law and that the interest of the people was what she cared for.

Unleashing a period of terror again:

(AHRC STATEMENT) With the law, the legal institutions and the courts diminishing in value secret agencies are surfacing quite openly once again. The presence of the military and the police the night before Mohan Peiris was sworn in as chief justice and also during the day itself and the ferocious manner in which the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, was escorted out of her official residence are images that were designed to terrorise the lawyers and citizens who were anxious and bewildered by what is taking place. 

A brainless head:

(AHRC ARTICLE) President Rajapaksa does what he wishes to do. That should not surprise us as this is simply who he is. He impeached the Chief Justice saying that the law was so dear to him and that he was a humble follower of the law in this respectful country. Accordingly, he says that he followed the procedure as per the constitution. Now he has installed another subject to the forcibly vacated seat which we call the seat of the 'Chief Justice'.

Radical and innovative Asian theologian passes away:

(AHRC STATEMENT) Fr. Tissa Balasuriya OMI, a Sri Lankan Catholic priest who once came to the attention of the world due to his excommunication by Rome which was later lifted, passed away yesterday in Colombo. He had been unwell for some time and was 89 years of age at the time of his death.

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