ASIA: Human Rights Mechanisms Require Exploring Effective Redress for Reprisals

An Oral Statement to the 48th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Madam President:

The Secretary General’s Report on Reprisals reflects the manifold challenges the human rights advocates face across the world.

Internationally reputed human rights organisation Odhikar and its leaderships have been facing reprisals for cooperating with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, Special Procedures, and the Treaty Bodies, as reflected in the report. On 14 February 2021, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has vacated the stay order on the prosecution against Odhikar’s Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and Director ASM Nasiruddin Elan while their review petition challenging this decision remains pending since April. The Cyber Tribunal of Dhaka, on 12 September 2021, decided to examine the Prosecution Witnesses on 5 October as part of the trial against the two human rights activists who may face 7 years’ imprisonment.

We wish to inform the Secretary General’s Office that on 26 August 2021, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, served a legal notice to Mr. Haris Azhar and Ms. Fatia Maulidiyanti through a law firm. Haris and Fatia discussed about research findings of several organizations in a video conference. The discussion revealed the alleged involvement of Indonesian current and retired military officials behind the gold-mining business having plan to exploit the Blok Wabu area in Intan Jaya of Papua province.

The Minister has filed a police report to the Jakarta Metropolitan Police Office against the two rights activists under the ITE Law while his lawyer is reportedly planning to sue them for a civil defamation worth IDR 100 billion (over 7 million US Dollars).

Thank you, Madam President.

UN Web TV Video Link: (For watching the Statement at the UN Web TV, please click the video link at 21:06 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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