ASIA: Failed Justice Institutions complicit to Arbitrary Detention and Enforced Disappearances

An Oral Statement to the 39th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. President,

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) welcomes the reports of the both Working Groups on Arbitrary Detentions and Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

The ALRC and its sister organisation the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) have been documenting the cases of enforced disappearances in a number of Asian states.

The law-enforcement and intelligence agencies and security forces of Pakistan and Bangladesh are disappearing their citizens with impunity. Over 5000 citizens have been disappeared in Pakistan in recent years and the crime is being committed continuously. Bangladesh’s incumbent government has disappeared 554 citizens since January 2009 to 10 September 2018. At least 8000 people were disappeared in Indian Administered Kashmir by the security forces since 1989 and 2018.

The criminal justice institutions of these countries have been complicit to the crime of enforced disappearances by abdicating their constitutional authorities and denying legal remedies to the families of the victims guaranteeing the principles of fair trial.

The issue of large scale disappearances in Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Thailand still remain unaddressed due to lack of political will of the governments of those States. The unwillingness of allocating adequate financial and human resources to the bodies formed in those countries and empowering them for resolving the matters related to disappearances is one of the key reasons of such highly regrettable reality.

Inaccessibility to the justice mechanism for the enforced disappearances and lack of justice for the incidents of arbitrary detentions in most of the Asian states are our main concerns.

Thus, there is an urgent need for transforming the justice institutions to enable them to administer ‘justice’ of its kind for the objective of ending the crimes of arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances in Asia.

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Web TV Video Link: (Please scroll down on the list of speakers on the right hand side and click on clip number 53 to find Asian Legal Resource Centre)

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The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.

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