Posts Tagged ‘Bangkok Post’

Human Rights Day: a selection of articles from Asian media that you may have missed

December 10, 2014

 I call on states to honour their obligation to protect human rights every day of the year. I call on people to hold their governments to account. And I call for special protections for the human rights defenders who courageously serve our collective cause,” UN Secretary-General stated in his message for Human Rights Day.  There is so much to report on this day, that I decided to focus on stories from 4 Asian countries (China (Hong Kong), India, Thailand, Bangladesh) which give an impression (not more than that) of how Human Rights Day is reflected in the media.
The first article “Responsibility for the protection of human rights is in our hands” appeared in the South China Morning Post of Tuesday, 09 December, 2014

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Hunger Games 3-finger sign not welcome in Thailand

November 22, 2014

(Police stand inside the theatre in Bangkok where two student activists were arrested in connection with the showing of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Photo by Pattarachai Prechapanich)

If there was any evidence needed that symbols from films travel fast, the Bangkok Post reports that on Thursday 20 November three students outside two Bangkok theatres. They were released without charges, but in the meantime the discussion had already started. On Friday Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand said he felt unthreatened by The Hunger Games’ three-fingered protest against totalitarian rule, but nonetheless warned people against using it. “I don’t know whether it is illegal or not but it could jeopardise their futures,” Gen Prayut told reporters at Government House. “I appreciate their courage but they should use their courage in the right ways”.

His comments came as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Southeast Asia criticised the authorities for a recent spate of instances in which people were led away for questioning after making the salute that has become a symbol of defiance for anti-coup protesters. The United Nations on Friday criticised the country’s military leaders for arresting students flashing the signature protest gesture from The Hunger Games while the film’s makers said they are concerned for the young activists. Director of  The Hunger Games, Francis Lawrence, felt honoured that the film has become an inspiration but added: “My goal is not for kids to be out there doing things that are getting them arrested,” (in a Friday interview with Buzzfeed). “”In a sense, part of it is an honour that there (are) ideas in the movies that we’re making that (have) become so important to people that they are willing to risk something and use that symbol,” he continued. “But it’s so scary.”

I didn’t want to punish [the students] so they were merely reprimanded, released and told not to do it again because it’s of no benefit to anyone,” Gen Prayut told reporters. The general also denied any role in Apex’s decision to pull the film from its Scala and Lido theatres.

Three-finger fallout continues | Bangkok Post: news.

China continues harsh line on dissent but one jailed HRD smuggles out video

August 11, 2013

Reuters reports that China has arrested an activist on a charge of subversion and the latest sign that the authorities are hardening their stance toward dissent. Yang Lin, 45, Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Defenders slam Asean watchdog for being toothless

July 5, 2013

A network of Asean civil society organisations unveiled its review of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights [AICHR] on 20 June reports the Bangkok Post. Read the rest of this entry »

Thai government concedes there are problems as raised by the UN special rapporteur

May 24, 2013

The Bangkok Post of 24 May 2013 contains a nice little item that should give heart to those who work on UN special procedures and of wonder about the impact of all this advocacy work: It seems that Thailand has conceded a bit on issues raised by a UN special rapporteurs regarding freedom of expression and migrant labour, and to the fatal harassment of human rights defenders.The ‘admission’ is in a document included in 108 pages of communications involving special rapporteurs of the United Nations recently made available ahead of the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council.

via Thai government concedes abuses raised by a UN special rapporteur as abuses of human rights | Bangkok Post: news.

 

Losing faith in justice system in Thailand – good editorial in Bangkok Post

April 27, 2013

I am re-publishing this excellent editorial that appeared in the Bangkok Post of 25 Apr 2013 about the lack of protection for environmental human rights defenders in Thailand. If only more newspapers carried such succinct and clear opinions:

The rally in front of the Appeal Court on Tuesday by 300 residents from Prachuap Khiri Khan to demand transparency in the murder case of environment defender Charoen Wat-aksorn attracted scant media attention.That is not surprising at all as most mainstream media have lost interest in the case, which has dragged on for almost a decade since the victim’s murder on June 21, 2004, regrettably with justice yet to be served _ at least in the mind of Charoen’s widow, his friends and supporters. It is understandable why these rural residents had to travel from their hometown more than 200 kilometres away to gather in front of the court, albeit in a peaceful and civilised manner, to demonstrate their “reaction” against the courts recent acquittal of the last suspect in Charoen’s murder case, 51-year-old Thanu Hinkaew. Their presence in Bangkok was not meant to protest against the Appeal Courts acquittal but merely to seek an explanation from the court and to ensure the case would be treated with transparency when prosecutors appeal against the verdict to the Supreme Court. Read the rest of this entry »