HRC37 Oral Statement on the situation of human rights defenders in Asia
2 March 2018 10:47 am
37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr. Michel Forst
Oral Statement Delivered by Sejin Kim on behalf of
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Across Asia human rights defenders have been regularly targeted simply for carrying out their legitimate human rights work. In some instances they face immediate and extreme risk such as enforced disappearance and killings. For instance, Maldivian defender Yameen Rasheed was stabbed to death by assailants in April last year after receiving death threats. In Pakistan, Raza Mahmood Khan, a peace activist from Lahore, went missing on 2 December 2017 like many others in the country. In 2017, FORUM-ASIA documented 24 cases where defenders lost their lives due to their work and 23 cases of abduction and disappearances.
Judicial harassment against defenders is one of the most common types of harassment to delegitimise their work. In January 2018 eight Thai human rights defenders who joined the peaceful march ‘We Walk’ were charged by authorities for allegedly violating a ban on political gatherings. In January 2018 two Cambodian environment rights defenders Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy were convicted and sentenced to one-year imprisonment for filming two large vessels suspected of illegal sand mining.
As reported in the communications report of special procedures (A/HRC/37/80)
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