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BURMA: Cynical manipulation of legal system prefigures continued authoritarianism:

(AHRC ARTICLE) Two cases in Burma's courts that recently have attracted some public attention reveal aspects of a legal system being cynically manipulated, aspects that afford strong guarantees for the continuation of authoritarian practices and mentalities, large and small, after the by-elections this April. In February the Rangoon Western District Court gave its verdict in the case of Ko Tin Maung Swe, a 36-year-old taxi driver whom a gang beat to death in December 2010...

BURMA: Religious elder sentenced to 20 years in jail for peaceful practice of faith:

(AHRC URGENT APPEALS) The AHRC has received detailed documentation on the case of an elderly religious leader in Burma who has been imprisoned after being sentenced to 20 years in jail for peaceful practice of his faith. Because the leader, Shin Nyana, established a religious order that claims to adhere to Buddhist teachings but rejects orthodox doctrine, he was arrested and imprisoned in 2010 under laws established under successive military regimes to politically control religious groups.

Quackery of justice:

(AHRC STATEMENT) The National Human Rights Commission is a specialised statutory body mandated to protect, promote and fulfil human rights. Set up by virtue of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the NHRC is the result of India's pre-emptive commitment to United Nations General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993, also known as Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (The Paris Principles).

Mirror writing of responsibilities:

(AHRC STATEMENT) The statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, 'explaining' the country's position regarding the United Nations' resolution on promotion, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka is worth an analysis from the Indian perspective. Contrary to the misgivings widely published throughout the country, India's affirmative vote at the UN yesterday is not a "foreign policy disaster".

Brutal custodial torture by Harora and Ashoknagar police in West Bengal:

(AHRC URGENT APPEALS) The AHRC has received information from Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) concerning another case of brutal custodial torture of Mr. Samad Mondal. It is reported that the police from Haroa Police Station arrested the victim from a Gopalpur market on 20 January 2012. It is alleged that the police tortured the victim in custody and later produced him in court, from where he was handed over to Ashoknagar Police Station.

The judiciary has the power to exercise due diligence over the withdrawal of cases:

(AHRC STATEMENT) The AHRC wishes to condemn in the strongest possible terms the decision of the government, made on February 27, 2012, to recommend the withdrawal of nearly 425 criminal cases. It is now up to the judiciary to exercise due diligence over the cases under their jurisdiction, to ensure that the reasons for the withdrawal of these cases comply with both the requirements of Nepalese law and the internationally accepted norms and standards of the administration of justice.

Fisherfolk Blues:

(AHRC ARTICLE) Smiling and wide-eyed, seven-month-old Kareem Bux is happy between the arms of his mother, grandmother and father in the courtyard of his home in the Rehri Village of Karachi coastal line. He is blissfully unaware of the fact that he has opened his eyes in one of the unfortunate families who are from the most neglected and unprivileged Fisherfolk community of the society.

US based news agency asked its correspondent to leave the job after the journalist and his family faced serious threats from local Taliban:

(AHRC URGENT APPEALS) The AHRC has received information that a journalist of a US based news agency is receiving death threats from Taliban Pakistan for writing stories on the working of some prominent religious seminaries (Madressas) who were imparting training students for suicide bombers or romanticizing the suicide attacks. The chief of the news agency-AP has asked the correspondent to leave the job as Taliban Pakistan has declared AP as an infidel organization.

Impartial investigation into unlawful surveillance by presidential office unlikely without independent prosecution:

(AHRC STATEMENT) There is serious doubt regarding whether the investigation on unlawful surveillance allegedly involving the presidential secretary for civil affairs can be independent and impartial, since the prosecution department has been instructed by the president’s office to conduct this investigation.


The Rule of Law and Democracy in Sri Lanka:

(AHRC ARTICLE) A preliminary Remark on Possible Objections to A Conversation on Rule of Law And Democracy In Sri Lanka. I realize at the very outset that a conversation on rule of law and democracy in Sri Lanka would be objected to by different persons for several reasons. One group considers this conversation as largely irrelevant.

Extrajudicial Killings - The miserable breakdown of the rule of law:

(AHRC ARTICLE) They finished off my husband after two days of torture, and then took me to Hambantota where a number of women were held on suspicion. To my knowledge, most of them were innocent like me. There too they tortured me and urged me to reveal the names of the people who had connections with the JVP, but I did not know anyone who had JVP connections and I didn’t have any link with them either - Mrs. Premasili

Possibility of new opportunities – successful UN resolution:

(AHRC STATEMENT)) The successful United Nations Resolution on reconciliation and accountability should pave the way for a new period of commitment to cure the wounds of a long conflict, caused upon individuals as well as on the institutional structure of democracy and the rule of law in Sri Lanka.

Destructive effects of racial nihilism:

(AHRC ARTICLE) The government has about an year to improve governance in terms of human rights, instead of selling racial nihilism and isolating itself from the world and the people. Next March the High Commissioner for Human Rights would report to the UN Human Rights Council the report the office of the Commissioner would prepare about Sri Lanka based on the UN resolution on Sri Lanka.

A torture victim is detained for 3 years without trial:

(AHCR URGENT APPEALS) The AHRC has received information that Mr. Surendra Rajan of Matale has been in remand prison without being charged or even informed of the reason for his arrest for three years. His problems began when he was asked to pay compensation by his employer, a government minister, after he had an accident driving the minister's car. Illegal arrest and detention and being laid with false charges is common in Sri Lanka as is the police acting on behalf of rich or influential persons.

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