The WFDA Framework for Action 2009-2011 has been published, as the primary outcome of the Third Biennial held in Seoul in September. The full text of the document, which sets out the collective goals for WFDA participants for the next two years, is attached as a PDF, and also available online here. As we go forward into 2010, we welcome any news from partners about efforts toward reaching these goals.
Call for Nominations: The May 18 Foundation is calling for nominations for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award 2010, given each year to one individual or organization who has contributed to the promotion and advancement of human rights, democracy and peace in their work. The application deadline is 1 March 2010. Further details are available here.
Please find below a roundup of activities and statements from other partners around the region.
Regional and International
FORUM-ASIA issued a statement on International Human Rights Day, calling on all Asian governments to step up their efforts to implement international human rights standards.
The Democracy Coalition Project issued a report card on the UN Human Rights Council, highlighting once again the disappointing performance of the body as a whole, as well as all members’ voting records on key issues, such as the country mandate for North Korea and the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka.
To mark International Human Rights Day, Odhikar held a roundtable on extrajudicial killings, as well as a series of rallies in several districts around the country. The summary report of the events was published on the FORUM-ASIA website.
In a show of continued determination to push for human rights, many Burmese within the country commemorated International Human Rights Day. In Rangoon, the National League for Democracy held a gathering at its Rangoon office, and the All Burma Monks’ Alliance, 88 Generation Students, and All Burma Federation of Student Union released a joint statement urging the international community not to recognize the 2010 elections unless there has been sustainable political dialogue with democratic opposition and ethnic nationalities, and national reconciliation beforehand. On 9 December, the Women’s League of Burma celebrated its 10th anniversary and announced plans for women to campaign against the 2010 elections, as reported in the Democratic Voice of Burma.
On 19 December, in the middle of the night, Cambodia deported 20 Uyghur asylum seekers to China on a Chinese military airplane, in a bald violation of international norms governing treatment of refugees. The World Uyghur Congress strongly condemned the action in a statement on 22 December, available here. The action was also widely condemned by the international community, including statements by the European Union, the United States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, among others.
A year after the launch of Charter 08, the government stepped up its crackdown on its authors, notably Liu Xiaobo, whose trial on “subversion” was scheduled to open today. China Human Rights Defenders issued a statement demanding Mr. Liu’s immediate release and the dropping of his charges, as well as ongoing harassment of other Charter 08 signatories.
On 23 December, LBH (The Community Legal Aid institute), has published the latest edition of CAVEAT, presenting a special report reviewing Indonesia’s rule of law and human rights situation throughout the year and warning of the risks of any further deterioration of these conditions.
On 17 December, during the visit to New Delhi of Nepal Army Chief General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) issued a statement urging him to handover Major Niranjan Basnet to police in Nepal for trial before the Court, and also urging India to reconsider its unconditional support to the Nepal Army.
Fallout from the brutal massacre in November continues. Mindanao Peace Weavers issued a statement on 7 December expressing alarm at the government’s declaration of martial law in the province of Maguindanao., stating that, “The declaration of Martial Law is a manifestation of the failure of governance in the country.”
On 26 November, the Elders, a global group of distinguished leaders in democracy and human rights, issued an appeal to President Rajapaksa calling on his government to protect the rights of those displaced since the end of the war. They also urged donors to to ensure that basic conditions for equitable, inclusive and "conflict sensitive" development are put in place in the northern and eastern regions of the country.
On 20 December, the Cross Cultural Foundation in Thailand issued an urgent statement regarding the disappearance of Mr. Abduloh Abukaree, who is a key witness in a case against ten high ranking police officials accused of torturing and inflicting physical abuse against the clients of Mr. Somchai Neelapaijit, who himself was disappeared in 2005. The full text of the statement is available on the website of the Asian Human Rights Commission.