SRI LANKA/WORLD: Josefina Bergsten’s documentary “The Activist”

The full documentary can be viewed HERE. Josefina Bergsten is a producer of several social documentaries. Some of these documentaries are, “Unjust – a story of three surviving widows of three human rights activists who were assassinated in their countries”. They were, Munir Said Thalib from Indonesia, who was assassinated by poisoning while travelling in an Indonesian Garuda Airlines to the Netherlands; Mr Somchai Neelaphaijit, a senior human rights lawyer in Thailand who was abducted while travelling in Bangkok and thereafter disappeared; and Jerad Perera a Sri Lankan torture victim who was pursuing his cases before the courts and who was murdered while he was travelling to work by bus.

ASIA: 20th Anniversary of the Asian Charter for Human Rights; A People’s Charter – A Video Documentary

In this short video, Mr Basil Fernando explains the preparation for updating of the Asian Charter for Human Rights – A People’s Charter which was launched in Gwangju, South Korea in May 1998. This Video explains the purpose for which this Charter was adopted, the process of consultations which led to the drafting of the Charter, the consultations held in preparation of the drafting and the final adoption. The Asian Charter was launched as a joint effort of the Asian Human Rights Commission a Regional organisation based in Hong Kong and the May 18 Memorial Foundation based in Gwangju, South Korea.  WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

ASIA: Movie screening ‘Silence in the Courts’ in ALRC’s Geneva office

Two women from a farming village, about 100 kilometres from Colombo, were raped within one year by a judge presiding over cases which involved their husbands as accused parties. Seeking justice, the women approached the National Judicial Services Commission, the BAR Association, and the President of the country. The authorities, instead of helping the victims, converge to silence them. An editor of a leading alternative newspaper publishes the story of one of the women. He continues to follow up the incident and publishes a series of articles exposing the judge’s misdeed. Despite repeated public exposure and complaints, the Magistrate is neither charged for the crime nor investigated. The film portrays […]

ASIA: Are Asia’s criminal justice institutions capable of addressing torture?

Since the promulgation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, out of 48 Asian states, 40 states have ratified/acceded to the CAT, whereas 8 states, including countries like India, have refused to ratify the convention. Despite large number of states having ratified the CAT, the practice of torture continues in Asia. In fact, there is an increase in the number of cases reported from the region, particularly within the states where the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and its partners work.

ASIA: Role of criminal justice institutions in protecting HRDs in Asia

Human rights defenders across the world today have to overcome restrictive and challenging circumstances to undertake their mandate. These challenges could be broadly classified into three categories. They are: (i) restrictions imposed through statutes or regulatory processes; (ii) false accusations and fabricated cases registered by the state against HRDs and their organisations; and (iii) threats presented against HRDs by non-state actors, including fundamentalist religious forces.

INDIA: Invitation to Parallel Event at the UN Human Rights Council

The purpose of screening the documentary at the UN is to encourage women across the world facing similar situations to find means to recover from trauma, to build a solidarity network of women survivors to work towards ending such violence, and to encourage them to seek legitimate justice processes to redress grievances, as the EEVFAM has sought to do in India.