This week Just Asia begins with India, where two police officers have been awarded the death penalty for the custodial torture and death of 27-year-old Udaya Kumara in Kerala in 2005. For more than 10 years, Udaya’s mother was steadfast in her pursuit of justice. Udaya’s case is a reminder not only of police brutality in the country, but also of its inadequate justice mechanisms.
Next, Bangladesh’s law-enforcement agencies have assaulted school and college students demanding justice for their murdered classmates. On Sunday, a reckless bus driver ran over a group of students waiting at a footpath, killing two of them. The bus company is owned by a relative of Bangladesh’s Shipping Minister. Human rights activists are calling for solidarity with the students.
In Indonesia, the National Election Commission has prohibited anyone convicted of corruption from running in elections. This is a welcome step in a country that continues to see widespread corruption amongst state agents as well as private individuals. Civil society has been vigorously campaigning against corruption, and calling for political parties to promote anti-corruption legislative candidates for the 2019 national election.
Moving to Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees say they will not accept a plan proposed by the government to relocate them to a remote island, for fear it is unsafe. In recent weeks, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister has told several international dignitaries of the plan to relocate the refugees to Bhasan Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal. There are concerns at the inhabitability of island however. Just Asia speaks to Adem Carroll for details.
Pakistani cricket legend Imran Khan is poised to take the reins as the country’s next prime minister. Khan campaigned on a populist anti-graft platform, and his win is widely trumpeted as historic for breaking the decades-long two-party dominance of Pakistani politics. Seen as the preferred candidate of the country's powerful military, Khan is likely to enact military-friendly policies.
Next, Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen, has won a landslide election victory, a result that was seen as a foregone conclusion after a months-long brutal crackdown destroyed all opposition. Hun Sen has ruled Cambodia for 33 years.
Finally, the Urgent Appeals Weekly features one case from Indonesia.
(Asian Human Rights Commission)