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Public Event – ‘Asia once again More Dangerous for Human Rights Defenders’, 17 July, Bangkok, Thailand

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Asia once again more dangerous for human rights defenders

An event organised by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Monday 17 July 2017, 10:00-12:30 at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), Bangkok

In the period of 2016-2017 Asia has become more dangerous for human rights defenders, particularly for land-rights defenders, youth and political activists. As spaces for defenders and civil society organisations across the region are shrinking, violations and harassment are increasing, while perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity. In particular the rise in extra-judicial killings, disappearances, and both the physical and judicial harassment of human rights defenders is alarming.

FORUM-ASIA’s new report, Defending in Numbers – Silencing the Voices of Asia 2015-2016 presents the findings of the monitoring of the organisation of the situation of human rights defenders in 2015-2016. In this period human rights activists, advocates and journalists were increasingly criminalised, threatened, harassed and attacked for their human rights work. The report analyses the 554 cases of violations and abuses documented over the period. Particularly the 49 cases of loss of life and the 132 instances of judicial harassment and criminalisation of activists are a serious cause for concern.

During the event both overall trends and findings will be shared related to the worsening situation of human right defenders in the region, and particular cases of killings, disappearances and judicial harassment in Bangladesh, the Maldives and Cambodia will be highlighted.


  • Katia Chirizzi is the Deputy Regional Representative of the South-East Asia Office in Bangkok of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
  • Shahindha Ismail is the founder and currently the Executive Director of the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN), the first and oldest running NGO in the country focused on human rights and democracy.
  • Almaz Teffera is Technical Advisor for Human Rights and Legal Aid at the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC). Four of her colleagues, and one former colleague were recent released after having spent over a year in pre-trial detention.
  • Mukunda Kattel is Director of the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) based in Bangkok, Thailand.

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