Asian Human Rights Commission
The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to express grave concern about the arrest of Prom Jarana (64 years old), a human rights defender and land rights activist with the Assembly of the Poor in Kaobart Village, Nondindaeng District, Buriram province. According to information provided by Protection International and the Assembly of the Poor to the AHRC, Prom was arrested by a group of soldiers and police at his home at 10:30 am on 17 July 2014 and taken to a military camp. His arrest comes after weeks of intimidation and threatened evictions against the community.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) would like to express grave concern about the current state of the draft amnesty bill in Thailand. The draft amnesty bill is broad, vague, and appears to be motivated by political expediency at the expense of human rights, justice, and the rule of law. If passed in its current form, the bill will allow murderers to walk free without even a slap on the wrist.
On 21 June 2004, Charoen Wat-aksorn was assassinated as he alighted from a bus returning to Prachuab Khiri Khan after he gave testimony about environmental destruction in Bo Nok and Ban Krut to the Senate in Bangkok. Charoen was a prominent human rights defender and leader of the Love Bo Nok group who fought for over ten years until his death against coal-fired power, large-scale shrimp farming and other environmental destruction in Prachuab Khiri Khan.
The Asian Human Rights Commission has been following with concern news of the latest outbreak of communal violence in Burma.
On March 12, 2013, the ninth anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Somchai Neelaphaijit passed. The Asian Human Rights Commission chooses to note this anniversary with continued sorrow for the enforced disappearance of Somchai Neelaphaijit and deep concern for the persistent failure to secure justice in this case. This is nine years in which the perpetrators of his abduction, assault, and murder have walked free.
On January 23, 2013, the Criminal Court in Bangkok read the verdict in Black Case No. O.2962/2554, in which Somyot Prueksakasemsuk was charged with two violations of Article 112 of the Criminal Code. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is a long-time labour rights activist and human rights defender. Somyot was prosecuted in relation to two articles published in Voice of Taksin magazine, a print publication with which he worked. The Court found Somyot guilty on both charges, and he was sentenced to ten years in prison in this case, as well as to one year in prison in relation to a prior case.
January 8, 2013: The Beginning of Sri Lanka’s Year Zero On the 8th of January, the President of Sri Lanka will address a proposal to parliament to remove the incumbent Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, based on a report by a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). The entire PSC process has been declared unconstitutional and null and void by the Supreme Court of the country. For two days, the illegal proposal will be debated in the parliament and on the 11th it will be put to a vote. The government has the required majority to get it through the parliament. Immediately after passing the resolution, the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka will be removed by force and will be prevented from entering into the Supreme Court premises. A new Chief Justice will be appointed.
The Asian Human Rights Commission is shocked to learn that a regional police commander in Thailand has recently given a substantial financial gift to five police officers convicted of murdering a teenager, Kiettisak Thitboonkrong, during the 2004 "war on drugs".
The ongoing protest by village communities acting against the increase of water level in the Omkareshwar Dam is unique in several aspects. The protest, which has completed 11 days today, is directed against the Madhya Pradesh state government that has failed to adequately rehabilitate those who have lost their land and livelihood to this 'development' project. The protest is being held in the East Nimaar region, i.e. in Khandwa district of the Madhya Pradesh state.
The Asian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned about a recent case of torture in the south of Thailand. Romuelee Loh-oh, 21, was arrested under unclear circumstances, tortured and repeatedly interrogated under inhumane conditions. His family was subject to repeated, intimidating searches of their home. This case is indicative of the entrenched practices of torture currently in use by the Thai state security forces that have developed and hardened into place since the declaration of martial law over the country's south in January 2004.