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Viet Nam: UN rights office alarmed by conviction of renowned human rights lawyer

The United Nations human rights office today urged the Government of Viet Nam to review the conviction of human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $60,000 for alleged charges of tax evasion. “We are alarmed by the fact that the conviction...

Vietnam: Le Quoc Quan did not receive fair trial

The ICJ said the conviction today of Le Quoc Quan, a lawyer and human rights defender in Vietnam, violated international standards governing the right to a fair trial. Judge Le Thi Hop of the People’s Court of Hanoi convicted and sentenced Le Quoc Quan to 30 months imprisonment with time...

Burma’s Protest Laws Used to Jail Peaceful Protestors

The use of ‘section 18’ – also known as the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law – to punish and restrict activist’s highlights the lack of rule of law in Burma, with the Burma based human rights group the Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) highlighting cases of abuse...

Myanmar releases political prisoners from rebel group

By Shibani Mahtani and Myo Myo Myanmar’s president on Tuesday released 56 political prisoners, authorities and activists said, mostly from ethnic rebel armies, in line with the government’s promise to release all prisoners of conscience by the end of this year. The latest wave of prisoners released – many from the...

Cambodia: Hope for the release of Cambodian protestor

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: As political protests continue in Cambodia, one woman remains a symbol of the Government's crackdown on critics which helped spark a voter backlash at the July election. Yorm Bopha is a young woman from Boeung Kak Lake, where residents have run a concerted campaign against the...

Lao PDR: Where is Sombath Somphone?

Oct 10, — Today, Thursday, 10 Oct 2013, marks 300 days of the disappearance of Sombath Somphone, one of Lao PDR’s most prominent activists. Sombath is a long-time and good friend. In the late 1970s, he and I were part of a small group of human rights activists and...

The Philippines: Trafficked persons are victims–DFA

MANILA, Philippines—Instead of being penalized, trafficked persons should be regarded as victims. This is the “human rights-based approach” that the global community should use in resolving the billion-dollar human trafficking problem, according to Jesus Yabes, foreign affairs undersecretary for migrant workers affairs at Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). In remarks before...

Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Tribunal to Hear Closing Arguments

ANLONG VENG, Cambodia—Three years after indicting four senior Khmer Rouge leaders for allegedly directing one of the worst genocides of the 20th century, a United Nations-backed tribunal will start hearing closing arguments Wednesday in a closely watched trial. But only two defendants remain. A third accused died this year, while...

Sultan of Brunei introduces tough Islamic punishments

The Sultan of Brunei on Tuesday introduced tough Islamic punishments including death by stoning for crimes such as adultery, making his oil-rich realm the first East Asian country to do so at the national level. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah -- one of the world's wealthiest men -- said a new Sharia...

Vietnam: Revise Constitution to Protect Rights

(New York) - Vietnam's National Assembly should ensure that the country's revised constitution fully meets international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the chairman of the National Assembly. Vietnam's parliament is considering and expected to vote on constitutional amendments during a session from October...