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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
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Recently, 31 Rohingya refugees who had fled atrocities in Myanmar found themselves trapped at the border between India and Bangladesh. Neither Indian nor Bangladeshi border guards were willing to accept them. The Indians insisted that…
Indian police transfer seven ethnic Rohingya to Myanmar officials in Moreh, Manipur, India, October 4, 2018.
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My mobile phone vibrating next to my head far too early on a Sunday morning was the first indication someone was in trouble. Even in an organization such as Human Rights Watch, that spans time zones across the globe, people don’t usually call at that hour…
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Call Upon Myanmar to End Ethnic Cleansing

The BJP-led government took office with a commitment to earn global respect. However, it has stumbled after one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today: Ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Half a million desperate Rohingyas have…
A group of Rohingya refugees cross a canal after travelling over the Bangladesh-Burma border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017.
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World leaders meeting at the United Nations in New York this week will address the Myanmar government's ethnic cleansing campaign against its Rohingya population. Meanwhile, Thailand's military junta has announced a policy designed to…
Smoke is seen on Myanmar's side of border as an old Rohingya refugee woman is carried after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, September 15, 2017.
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Ill-treatment of Prisoners Continues Unabated

“The last time I saw my son alive, he was begging me to save him. He told me that the policemen holding him in custody beat him with a belt the entire night, forcing him to confess to the crime.” Leonard Valdaris’s son Agnelo…
Police officers in New Delhi, India in January 2016. Police in India are often accused of protecting colleagues from accountability for abuses.
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A Postmortem Report, a Special Public Prosecutor, and an Eyewitness Testimony Turned the Tide in the Case of 20-Year-Old Aniket Khicchi

Aniket Khicchi and Ratan Vani were arrested on October 26, 2013, for alleged theft and taken to the Vanrai police station in Mumbai’s Goregaon neighbourhood. Khicchi died that night. The police did not inform Khicchi’s family either of the arrest or of…
Police officers in New Delhi, India in January 2016. Police in India are often accused of protecting colleagues from accountability for abuses.
News

Police Are Rarely Held Accountable for Custodial Deaths, As the Case of 22-Year-Old Altaf Shaikh Shows

“From his affidavit it appears that he has already made up his mind and has given a clean chit to the police officers,” the Bombay High Court found in October 2009 in response to an affidavit from the assistant commissioner of police of Maharashtra’s…
Copy of post-mortem report of Altaf Shaikh, September 11, 2009.
News

How the Police Disregard the Laws Designed to Prevent Torture and Mistreatment in Custody

“He was crying bitterly, he was saying, ‘Daddy save me, save me. They have been beating me the whole night. They will kill me, Daddy. These policemen will kill me.’” Leonard Valdaris, father of 25-year-old Agnelo, is haunted by the last words…
Agnelo's grave.
News

The Plight of Bangladesh's Migrants

Unlike fishing boats elsewhere, the small, graceful wooden vessels that are grounded all day on the sandy beach at Sonarpara, 400 kilometers (250 miles) southeast of Dhaka, are heavy with cargo when they set out to sea at night and empty when they return…
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Across the world, unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers and migrants are turning to boat smugglers and risking or losing their lives in the world's oceans. So far this year at least 1,800 people have drowned in the Mediterranean. Instead of mustering…
Gerry Simpson - Expert
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In India, many women and girls with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are locked up in institutions against their will. Some of the institutions for those women, who have disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy to schizophrenia…
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When Abid was five, immigration officials arrested him and his family, Pakistani refugees fleeing religious persecution. The officials took them to the squalid immigration detention centre in central Bangkok. There, they joined hundreds of other refugees…
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The American public became aware of tens of thousands of Central American children at the US-Mexico border after photos of kids jammed into overcrowded detention centers went viral. With fits and starts, the US has made some headway in moving most of…
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Does the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) "return happiness" campaign hold a place for children who languish in Thailand's immigration detention centres? "How long will I stay?" five-year-old Rayyan asked. "Will I live the rest of my life…
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When Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha announced on July 11 that the Thai refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border would be emptied, many wondered if there really is new resolve by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to repatriate the 130,000 Myanmar…
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After years of seemingly never-ending conflict and repression, Burma's neighbours and the world are watching the changes there with interest and cautious optimism. And for the 140,000 Burma refugees in Thailand, many stuck in camps on the border for…
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(Washington)- A virus is sweeping Asia. The symptoms are heightened xenophobia and amnesia about fundamental refugee rights. Australia and Indonesia succumbed first, in October, when they stopped boats carrying Sri Lankans. Neither country would allow…