ASIA: Council needs to make itself effective in protecting rights

An Oral Statement to the 33rd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. Vice President.

The ALRC wishes to bring to the attention of this Council that the situation of human rights has become alarming in most Asian States. The institutionalised coercive methods of law-enforcement coupled with dysfunctional judicial systems and the violent political culture are contributing to the process of gross violations of human rights.

Bangladesh is an ideal example where protection of rights is pretty much a joke. 296 persons have disappeared since January 2009, of which 61 are between January and August this year. This is continuing without any redress available through domestic institutions. Our records show that the judiciary is incapable of preventing it. Likewise, arbitrary deprivation of life is unrestricted. Extrajudicial executions by the law-enforcement agencies and paramilitary forces resulted in 1229 executions between January 2009 and August 2016. Many detainees are shot in their limbs whilst in police custody.

Similar situation prevail in China and Thailand where judicial remedies are absent to victims. The people in Pakistan and Philippines face similar circumstances on the excuse of combating terror or drug addiction. The space for human and civil rights is drastically reduced in India under the current administration that promotes religious fanaticism.

Justice institutions of all these countries complement executive actions. Impunity to violations and contempt to the rule of law is the hallmark of all these governments.

The ALRC wishes to ask this Council, what action has it taken to end this? Will the Council be able to undertake a study, analysing the structural issues of the criminal justice systems in Asia as a first step to address this problem?

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Webcast video: Link [Please scroll down and click on number 9 for Asian Legal Resource Centre]

About Admin

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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