Press Statements - Afghanistan
8th March 2013
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, joins the messages of solidarity expressed throughout the world to mark International Women’s Day on 8th March 2013.
This year, the UN theme for International Women’s Day is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”, one that is unfortunately relevant to South Asia.
Global campaigns such as 16 days of activism and One Billion Rising are positive signs of an increasingly proactive approach from men and women, to stop violence against women. However, while SAHR acknowledges that there continues to be a shift in the attitude of many South Asian societies with regards to women’s equality and emancipation, still injustice, discrimination, and violence persist in the most terrible of forms.
Over the past year alone, acts of violence against women have captured the World’s attention; The attempted killing of a 15 year old women’s rights activist in Pakistan; The brutal gang rape and subsequent death of a student in Delhi; The recent ruling in the Maldives where a teenager was sentenced to 100 lashes, despite being the victim of rape; The execution of a Sri Lankan housemaid working in Saudi Arabia, after being held on death row for six years; The assassinations of two directors of the Department of Women’s Affairs in Laghman province, Afghanistan, for their work on women’s issues. These are just a few examples, and while the attention that these tragedies have received in the media and among the public are vital to redressing the wrongs that plague women in South Asia, firm action needs to be taken by South Asian societies and those that govern them. (more…)
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) mourns the death of Shri I. K. Gujral, Former Prime Minister of India and the Founding Chair of SAHR. Shri Gujral made his mark as a global leader and a visionary for peace. An astute politician and a true statesman, he won respect and credibility not only in his own country but globally. He played a significant role in charting a course for better relations between India and Pakistan and his “Gujral Doctrine” has received acclaim and following amongst those sections of the population in both countries that value progress and development. (more…)
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) joins human rights activists around the World in commemorating the International Day of the Disappeared.
The practice by State actors of forcibly disappearing and illegally detaining someone, without acknowledging their arrest or whereabouts, places the victim outside the protection of the law and is often linked to the crimes of torture and extra-judicial killings. (more…)
26th June 2012
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) joins human rights activists around the World, in commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This year, the day marks the 25th anniversary of United Nations Convention Against Torture coming into effect.
Despite the fact that this Convention has been in force for a quarter century, only 147 States are party to it. Of the South Asian states, all but Bhutan have signed it, and India is yet to ratify the Convention. (more…)
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, joins the messages of solidarity expressed throughout the world to mark International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2012.
This year, International Women’s Day is inspired by the theme of “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”. While this is a day for solidarity among women and a celebration of their accomplishments, it is also a day to remind the world that equal rights and opportunities for women are human rights imperatives and inalienable rights of women. (more…)
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) expresses its concern over recent developments in Maldives, which have seen former President Nasheed step down, in what he and others have described as a coup.
Reports suggest that Mr Nasheed’s resignation follow violent protests that appear to be triggered by the arrest of a senior judge Abdulla Mohamed as well as the resignation of Maldivian SAARC Secretary General, Dhiyana Saeed.
It was also reported that some members of the opposition may have instigated the coup that forced Mr Nasheed’s departure from office. (more…)
South Asians for Human Rights welcomes the latest developments in the delegation from Afghanistan to the Bonn Conference, in increasing the role of women in the delegation.
This second conference on Afghanistan, taking place in Bonn on December 5th, comes 10 years after the inaugural conference instated the Hamid Karzai government.
The upcoming conference will be a major influence in Afghanistan’s continuing emergence from decades of conflict and repressive rule, and to diminish the voice of women at these proceedings would have been a blow not only for the rights of women in Afghanistan and for the country’s future development as a whole, but would also take away some sense of legitimacy from the conference. (more…)
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a democratic regional network of human rights defenders committed to the protection and promotion of human rights at both national and regional levels, we welcome the convening of the 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit in Addu, Maldives from 10th–11th November 2011.
The formation of SAARC in 1985 raised strong hopes among people that it would lead to greater unity, loosening of artificial boundaries, and increased freedom of movement. Yet South Asia, which has a rich diversity of cultures, religions and ethnicities and nurtured pluralist societies, is today marked by divisive relations between governments, discrimination between communities and the persistence of poverty. There is an urgent need for a peaceful environment, people centred development and a meaningful realization of human rights and democratic governance. (more…)
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, joins the messages of solidarity expressed throughout the world to mark International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2011.
This year, International Women’s Day is inspired by the theme of ‘Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.’ While this is a day for solidarity among women and a celebration of their accomplishments, it is also a day to remind the world that equal rights and opportunities for women are human rights imperatives and inalienable rights of women.
SAHR believes that there has been a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts on women’s equality and emancipation and notes that many achievements have been made in the past towards equal rights for women. The unfortunate fact is that injustice and discrimination against women still persists around the world and in its worst form it manifests as violence. Even though equal opportunity to employment has been improving throughout the world women are not always paid equally and are not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Globally women’s access to education, health and protection against violence is worse than that of men. (more…)
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) extend warm greetings to all friends who will be commemorating the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” yet today, the fight against violations of human rights remains a daily struggle for millions around the globe. This year with the focus on “human rights defenders who act to end discrimination” this day aims to highlight and promote the achievements of human rights defenders and will intend to inspire a new generation of defenders to speak up and take action.
The rich diversity of cultures and religions seen in the South Asian region should help to strengthen fundamental human rights in all communities. Instead we are faced with armed conflicts which lead to the breakdown of infrastructure and civic institutions, to greater human suffering and increased poverty, which are ultimately the violations of the rights of people. Every year, thousands of people are imprisoned for political reasons, often without charges or trials. Torture and ill‐treatment by law enforcement agencies are common, and have lead to many deaths in custody. Hundreds more are victims of extra‐judicial executions or forced ”disappearances”. Gender injustice is seen in all South Asian countries and minorities continue to face serious threats and are frequently excluded from effective and meaningful participation in the economic, political, social and cultural life of their countries. (more…)