ASIA: Working on Torture poses increasing threats to Human Rights Defenders

An Oral Statement to the 34th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Clustered Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders and Torture

Mr. President.

The Asian Legal Resource Centre wishes to bring to the attention of this Council, the increasingly deteriorating situation of human rights defenders in Asia. The ALRC is certain that the Council is well aware of the circumstances in states like Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, and Thailand where these states are systematically oppressing human rights defenders. Arbitrary arrest, prolonged periods of detention, and framing false criminal charges against human rights defenders has become pretty much the norm.

Most of ALRC’s partner who are defending state-sponsored assault upon their professional freedom to carry on with human rights work are organisations that document and assist victims of torture, extrajudicial execution carried out by state agencies.

In none of the Asian states cited earlier, there exist independent justice institutions that could form the first line of defence when human rights defenders and their organisations are attacked by the governments. Judges more often tend to uphold state interests than the cause of justice, law and equity. The ALRC would like to know from this Council, particularly from the rapporteurs, whether they have adequate body of knowledge and expertise about the unique and primitive nature of Asia’s justice institutions, without which engaging on Asian human rights issues would be superficial and namesake.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Webcast video: Link (Please scroll down and click on clip number 17 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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