Posts Tagged ‘Association of Southeast Asian Nations’

The rich history of the Asian Human Rights Commission in video

September 15, 2014

On 11 September 2014 the Asian Human Rights Commission [AHRC] published a documentary telling the story of 30 years of commitment produced by Josefina Bergsten, which traces 30 years of work of the Asian Human Rights Commission and its sister organisation the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC). Both the AHRC and the ALRC are based in Hong Kong, and work in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, and China, in addition to its important role in regional institution building. As is to be expected in this kind of NGO film it contains quite a bit of ‘talking head’ (in particular the well-spoken Director Basil Fernando) but on the other hand the human rights movement has so little in visual memory and the richly illustrated stories told by Basil are so persuasive that it is a 50 minutes well spent for those who want to know more about the development of the human rights movement in Asia.

 

Huge number of NGOs call on Laos to investigate Sombath’s disappearance one year on

December 13, 2013

62 regional and international organizations expressed their outrage over the Lao Government’s ongoing failure to shed light on the enforced disappearance of prominent human rights defender Sombath Somphone. Sunday 15 December 2013 will mark the one-year anniversary of Sombath’s disappearance. Sombath was last seen on the evening of December 15, 2012 in Vientiane. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed that police stopped Sombath’s car at a police post. Within minutes after being stopped, unknown individuals forced him into another vehicle and drove away. Analysis of the CCTV footage shows that Sombath was taken away in the presence of police officers. This fact supports a finding of government complicity. Despite the Lao Government’s pledge to “thoroughly and seriously” investigate Sombath’s disappearance, the authorities’ probe has been inadequate and unproductive and there has been no progress in the investigation.

Sombath’s enforced disappearance is not an isolated incident. To this day, the whereabouts of nine people, two women, Kingkeo and Somchit, as well as seven men, SoubinhSouaneSinpasongKhamsoneNou,Somkhit, and Sourigna, arbitrarily detained by Lao security forces in November 2009 in various locations across the country remain unknown. The nine had planned peaceful demonstrations calling for democracy and respect of human rights. Also unknown are the whereabouts of Somphone Khantisouk, the owner of an ecotourism guesthouse and an outspoken critic of Chinese-sponsored agricultural projects that were damaging the environment in the northern province of Luang Namtha. He disappeared after uniformed men abducted him in January 2007. Signed by: Read the rest of this entry »