The Malaysian authorities must immediately release a distinguished Bangladeshi human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience and allow him to speak at and participate in a conference on the death penalty, Amnesty International said today.
The Malaysian authorities at Kuala Lumpur airport detained Adilur Rahman Khan, the Secretary of Odhikar, a leading Bangladeshi human rights organization, this morning as he arrived in the country to speak at a conference on the death penalty.
“The Malaysian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Adilur Rahman Khan and allow him to participate in and speak at the conference,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“There is no justification for detaining him whatsoever. It is an outrage that a human rights activist cannot even travel freely to speak on a key human rights issue. Moreover, we understand that he still has not been given access to legal advice and is at risk of being deported.”
A federal judge in Hawaii has enjoined the Trump administration from including grandparents and other family members in the travel ban, as well as refugees with formal commitments from refugee organizations in the United States to resettle here. Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA senior director of campaigns, released the following statement:
“This decision is another rejection of the Trump administration’s cruel and discriminatory policy. It is welcome but temporary relief for the thousands of refugees and family members who remain uncertain of their future. They cannot wait for another drawn-out legal battle; Congress must step in now and end this cruel and discriminatory ban once and for all.”
By Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Do you think the Chinese government will release him now?” In the piercing cold of a December night in Oslo, the same question kept coming. I had just attended the ceremony to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned human rights advocate, literary critic, and thorn in the side of the Chinese government.
Vehemently denounced by the Chinese government as “a farce”, the ceremony had movingly paid tribute to that simple truth: that words are not crimes. Freedom of expression, as Liu Xiaobo had himself told the court a year earlier, was “the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth.” The court sentenced him to 11 years behind bars.
While I was buoyed by the homage the world was paying to his courage, I also knew that the real battle was only beginning: would the international community exert enough pressure on the Chinese authorities to sway them to release Liu Xiaobo?
Amnesty International is deeply concerned that farm families in northeast British Columbia face the imminent threat of destruction of their homes to make way for a dam that may never be completed.
Although flooding of the Peace River Valley is years away – and may never happen if the incoming provincial government cancels construction of the Site C dam or if significant, outstanding First Nations concerns are finally addressed – a number of farm families face threat of immediate destruction of their homes and lands to allow the relocation of portions of the main road through the valley.
In our view, the circumstances surrounding the construction of the Site C dam are such that any eviction or destruction of homes at this point would breach international human rights standards that all governments in Canada are obligated to uphold.
International law recognizes that there are instances when individuals may need to be displaced from their land for a larger public benefit. However, strict standards are required to protect the rights of those individuals and prevent abuse of power by government.