Press Statements - Bangladesh

SAHR Mourns the Death of Mrs. Sithie Tiruchelvam

24 March 2014

SAHR Mourns the Death of Mrs. Sithie Tiruchelvam

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) mourns the death of Mrs. Sithie Tiruchelvam, human rights activist, Attorney-at-Law and former Bureau Member of SAHR, who passed away on 22 March 2014. She is also a founder member of the Foundations for Peace (FfP) network – a worldwide network of community foundations working on peace and reconciliation within communities and has also contributed to the work of the Nadesan Centre for Human Rights. She was also the founder of Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust (NTT) which she formed upon the death of her husband Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam.

Sithie was appointed to the SAHR Bureau in the early stages of SAHR’s formation as a regional platform for human rights in South Asia and remained a bureau member till her term expired in November 2010. During this period she was responsible for the establishment and development of the SAHR Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sithie was a strong advocate for human rights, especially in Sri Lanka and South Asia and was a committed activist for social justice and peace. (more…)

SAHR Statement on International Women’s Day 2013

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…)

SAHR release on the passing of Shri I K Gujral

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…)

SAHR Statement on the International Day of the Disappeared, 2012

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…)

SAHR Statement on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

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) expresses concern over High Court’s ruling regarding Dr. Asif Nazrul

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) expresses concern over a recent High Court decision to summon Dr. Asif Nazrul, a constitutional law expert, over a comment he made recently on a talk show on a private television channel.

A law professor at the University of Dhaka, Dr. Nazrul has been writing on legal and political issues for several years, in various newspapers and journals.

The comment in question centred on the current confrontational politics between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition. (more…)

Statement Issued by SAHR on International Women’s Day 2012

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…)

SAHR expresses concern over the coup in the Maldives

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…)

SAHR worried over secret killings

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) yesterday condemned and expressed its deep concern on the rise of incidents of enforced disappearances and secret killings in the country.

In a press statement SAHR said enforced disappearance and subsequent killings of the victims is the worst form of violation of human rights.

The international rights body termed it frustrating that the government fails to give acceptable explanations when witnesses and victims’ family members pointed their fingers at the law enforcement agencies. (more…)

Statement Addressed to the SAARC Heads of State by Members of SAHR on the occasion of the SAARC Summit Meeting at Addu – Maldives 10th-11th November 2011

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…)


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