Press Statements - India

SAHR Statement on Attack on Prisoners

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) condemns the attack on Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan prison on 26th April 2013 and on the Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah, serving a life term in the high security Kot Balwal jail on the outskirts of Jammu, by a fellow inmate on 3rd May.

This attack comes as an immediate reaction to the attack and death of an Indian prisoner in a Pakistan jail, Sarabjit Singh, who died on 2nd May 2013 after fighting for his life for a week, on being attacked by fellow inmates.

The need of the hour is to stay calm and sane and to observe restrain. We need to uphold the virtues of decency and justice. SAHR strongly feels that reactionary politics and violence of any form is no solution to any problem.

As Gandhiji said, “an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”. The region’s best tribute to Sarabjit’s memory will be to make sure that no prisoner is ill-treated in any country. (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 Statement on exchange of fire and killings along the Line of Control

SAHR is deeply disturbed with the recent exchange of firing and report of the beheading of two Indian jawans along the LoC. The firing and killing of two Indian and one Pakistani jawan is highly deplorable and no sane person or society can accept such unwarranted and gruesome incidences. The said incidences have a potential to derail the ongoing peace process that has shown remarkable progress in recent times in easing the visa regime, improving trade relations and securing many other confidence building measures that hold great promise for both the countries.

Initially Pakistan alleged one Pakistani soldier was killed and another injured in an unprovoked Indian firing and accordingly they summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Gopal Baglay and lodged their protest. The report of Pakistani troops crossing LoC in the Mendhar sector of Jammu & Kashmir on Monday and killing two Lance Naik’s is also shocking. The report also says that the body of one of the soldiers was mutilated. India summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner to protest the gruesome incident. If true, it is reprehensible and must be thoroughly investigated to punish the guilty and ensure such terrible incidences do not recur. (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…)

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…)

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…)

SAHR Condemns the Arrest of Anna Hazare and Other Activists

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) strongly condemns the arrest of Anna Hazare and other activists before their proposed fast for an effective Jan Lokpal Bill. In a democracy, all have a right to protest peacefully and the government must uphold the fundamental right of the citizen of speech and expression. This act of the government is ultra vires of the Constitution of India. Given the gravity of the issue of corruption it is essential that all views on the Jan Lokpal Bill are debated including the proposals of NCPRI.

Shehla Masood, a Madhya Pradesh based civil rights and environmental rights activist was shot dead by an unidentified person in front of her residence in Koh-e-Fiza locality in Bhopal around 11 AM on 16th August, 2011. (more…)


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