Cambodia: Constitutional Amendments Detrimental to Parliamentary Democracy

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is alarmed by the constitutional amendments passed on 28 July 2022 by the National Assembly of Cambodia that are detrimental to parliamentary democracy. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which controls all of the seats in the National Assembly, is preparing for the post-Hun Sen

Joint Statement: International Democracy Advocates Denounce Odhikar’s De-registration in Bangladesh

We, the undersigned international democracy advocates, strongly denounce the Government of Bangladesh’s decision to deregister prominent human rights NGO Odhikar and express our unwavering solidarity with the group. In early June 2022, Bangladesh’s NGO Affairs Bureau under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office denied the group’s application for renewal of registration.

Joint Letter to President Biden Re: Thailand’s Abusive Draft Law on Not-For-Profit Organizations

May 12, 2022 President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.The White HouseWashington, DC Re: Thailand’s abusive draft law on not-for-profit organizations Dear President Biden, We, the undersigned non-profit organizations, are writing to express our serious concerns regarding Thailand’s Draft Act on the Operations of Not-for-Profit Organizations, which the Thai Cabinet approved in principle on

Joint Statement | Bangladesh: Stop Reprisals Against Victims, Activists

Instead Prioritize Accountability for Human Rights Abuses Bangladesh authorities have responded to US Treasury Department sanctions on the notoriously abusive Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) by retaliating against victims’ relatives, human rights defenders and their families, and human rights organizations, twelve organizations said today. The US imposed the sanctions on the paramilitary unit

ANFREL Interim Statement on the First Round of the 2022 Timorense Presidential Election

21 March 2022Dili, Timor-Leste The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) wishes to congratulate the citizens of Timor-Leste, the Technical Secretariat for Election Administration (STAE), the National Elections Commission (CNE), and the national police force (PNTL) for a peaceful, genuine, and transparent first round of the 2022 Timorense presidential election. We salute

Statement: ANFREL dismayed by prolonged democracy score decline in Asia; raises concerns about Democracy Index methodology  

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is dismayed by the continuous retreat of democracy in Asia, as measured by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s latest Democracy Index. The overall regional average score for Asia and Australasia peaked at 5.74 in 2016, and has continuously declined since 2019 from 5.67 to 5.62

ANFREL Statement: Thai local elections successful, but procedural changes would be welcome

Bangkok, 30 November 2021 Thailand held on Sunday 28 November 2021 its first tambon/sub-district administration organization (TAO) elections since the 2014 coup. This followed on provincial elections and municipal elections held in December 2020 and March 2021, respectively. ANFREL welcomes this long-overdue return to local democracy, congratulates the voters, the Election Commission

Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

The undersigned organizations express their concern about the rapidly unfolding developments occurring in Afghanistan, including the entrance of Taliban troops in the capital Kabul on 15 August in violation of their February 2020 agreement with the government of the United States of America, the exile of President Ashraf Ghani, and growing numbers

Thailand: Immediately repeal emergency regulation that threatens online freedoms

Seventeen international human rights organizations today denounced the Thai government’s newly announced Regulation No. 29, which empowers the authorities to censor online expression, and investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for communications that may “instigate fear”. The Regulation is the government’s latest attack on the right to freedom of expression and information in

Cambodia: No justice at 5-year anniversary of Kem Ley’s death

Today, in advance of the fifth anniversary of the unlawful killing of prominent political commentator and human rights defender Kem Ley, the 45 undersigned organizations reiterate their call for the Cambodian authorities to create an independent Commission of Inquiry tasked with conducting an independent, impartial and effective investigation into Kem Ley’s death.

Joint Statement: Hold Security Forces Accountable for Torture in Bangladesh

Rights Groups Call for Decisive Action on International Day for Victims The Bangladesh government has failed to address widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment by its security forces, ten rights groups said on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The groups called on the United Nations and concerned governments

Joint Open Letter: Crackdown on Press Freedom & Freedom of Expression in Bangladesh

03 May 2021 H.E. Michelle BacheletUnited Nations High Commissioner for Human RightsPalais Wilson52 rue des PâquisCH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland RE: Crackdown on Press Freedom & Freedom of Expression in Bangladesh Dear High Commissioner Bachelet, On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, we write to draw your attention to the escalating human rights

Open Letter to ASEAN Leaders: Recommendations from CSOs in Myanmar and in Southeast Asia to the Special ASEAN Summit on Myanmar

23 April 2021 To: Leaders of the Member States of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Your Excellencies, In alignment with the upcoming Special ASEAN Summit on Myanmar on 24 April 2021, we, the undersigned 744 individuals, 402 civil society organisations in Myanmar and 444 in other Southeast Asian nations

Joint Statement: Bangladesh Authorities Must Conduct Prompt, Thorough, Impartial and Independent Investigations into the Death of Protesters and Respect People’s Right to Peaceful Assembly

The Bangladeshi authorities must conduct prompt, thorough, impartial, and independent investigations into the death of at least 14 protesters across the country between 26 and 28 March, and respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, said 11 human rights organizations in a joint statement today. The organizations also called on the

Joint Statement: International Community Must Respond to Crackdown on Freedom of Expression in Bangladesh

The Bangladeshi authorities must end their escalating crackdown on human rights, and respect and protect people’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Bangladesh to curb protesters demanding justice for writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in prison on 25 February, the nine undersigned human rights organizations said in a joint statement

Joint Call for a Global Arms Embargo on Myanmar: An Open Letter to the UN Security Council and Individual UN Member States

We, the undersigned organizations, call on the United Nations Security Council and UN member states to urgently institute a coordinated, global arms embargo on Myanmar in response to the February 1, 2021 military coup that has deprived the people of Myanmar of the right to democratically elect their government. Our concerns are

Joint Statement: CSOs Condemn Targeting Killing of Afghan Activist and Call for Justice

We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the killing of elections monitor and democracy advocate Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed in Afghanistan and urge the authorities to bring those responsible to justice. On the morning of 23 December 2020, Rasheed, executive director of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), was shot by

STATEMENT: Respect, protect and fulfill right to peaceful protest in Thailand

Statement by International NGOs on Pro-Democracy Protests on November 17 and 25, 2020 We, the undersigned organizations, condemn the Thai police’s unnecessary and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters marching to the national parliament in Bangkok on November 17, 2020. We are concerned that authorities could employ similar measures when facing

ANFREL Launches Int’l Election Observation Mission to the 2020 Myanmar General Elections

Press Release Yangon, Myanmar 29 October 2020 The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) formally launched its international election observation mission to the 2020 Myanmar General Elections with the deployment of 13 long-term observers (LTOs) on 26 October 2020. As the country is set to hold its general elections on 8 November

Joint Statement: End Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh

For Immediate Release (Dhaka, August 28, 2020) – Bangladesh security forces and law-enforcement agencies continuously commit enforced disappearances with impunity, targeting journalists, activists, and government critics, 12 human rights groups said today ahead of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The groups remember the victims of enforced disappearances and

ANFREL Hopes for Peaceful Polls in Sri Lanka

On August 5, over 16 million Sri Lankan voters are invited to cast their ballots in South Asia’s first major elections since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially scheduled for April 25, the polls had to be postponed twice. On the eve of this exercise in democracy, the Asian Network for

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