ANFREL Newsletter (January-March 2021)

The first quarter of 2021 saw Myanmar's return to military rule with the Tatmadaw's staging of a coup which seized power from the civilian government on 1 February 2021. The Tatmadaw refused to recognize the legitimacy of the 2020 Myanmar General Elections and insisted on their election fraud allegations. The Asian Network

Joint Submission to the 3rd UPR of Thailand

Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) and ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) have made a joint submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Thailand that will take place in October 2021. The submission was done based on ANFREL's findings in its international election observation mission to the 2019 Thai general

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

Myanmar Situation Update (15-21 March 2021)

In the past week, the military junta shut down mobile internet and wireless broadband internet (except for fibre internet)  indefinitely. Crackdowns against the media were also intensified, with three journalists arrested in a week. Since the military’s Feb. 1 coup, a total of 40 journalists have been arrested by the junta, with

Myanmar Situation Update (8-14 March 2021)

As the people of Myanmar continue the civil disobedience movement including nationwide street protests, the total number of deaths has doubled to at least 126 in the past week. The anti-coup protests saw another record-breaking surge in deaths on 14 March alone when at least 38 civilians were killed by security forces.

NAMFREL says Palawan plebiscite well-organized, expresses concern over vote buying reports

First published on NAMFREL's Facebook Page on 13 March 2021. PRESS RELEASEMarch 13, 2021, 1pm The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) released its preliminary findings on the conduct of the 2021 Plebiscite, as observed by its volunteers who are currently stationed in different voting centers throughout Palawan. The preliminary observations

Myanmar Situation Update (1-7 March 2021)

The people of Myanmar continue the civil disobedience movement, which include street protests, civil service strikes, the boycott of military-linked business, and the social punishment campaign which netizens name and shame police, military personnel and their family members on social media and business owners refused to provide service to them. Myanmar saw

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

Myanmar Situation Update (February 2021)

The 2021 Myanmar military coup began on 1 February 2021 when the Myanmar military, Tatmadaw detained numerous government officials, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and Union Election Commission (UEC) Chair U Hla Thein, as well as pro-democracy activists and politicians from the ruling National League

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

Perludem publishes regional elections and democracy journal

ANFREL member in Indonesia, the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi | Perludem), published and launched the first edition of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Elections and Democracy on 17 February 2021. The journal is an off-shoot of their Journal of Elections and Democracy, a national publication, which expanded

IEC is Wasting Time to Provide a Proposal on Amendment of Election Law and Bringing the Electoral Reforms — FEFA

Kabul-16, February 2021-for urgent release The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) expresses its deep concerns over IEC’s failure (wasting time) and delay to bring electoral reform. FEFA believes that wasting time or ignoring electoral reform will have negative impinge upon election process, building public trust on elections, gaining international

STATEMENT: MARUAH Unequivocally Condemns Military Takeover of Myanmar Government

First published on MARUAH's website on February 11, 2021 MARUAH unequivocally condemns the military takeover of Myanmar on February 1, 2021. The Tatmadaw (military)overthrew the elected government of Myanmar, detained government leaders, civil service officers, activists, and human rights defenders, imposed a year-long Emergency on the country and has blocked intermittently access

Joint Statement: Domestic election observer groups say 2020 Myanmar polls results credible, call support for peaceful power transition

Joint Statement by Domestic Election Observer Organizations January 29, 2021 There is a growing concern within the public that the electoral disputes over the results of the 2020 general elections and different electoral processes would cause post-election instability, the delay of the peaceful power transition, and even the country’s democratic transition to

ANFREL Webinar Series: More Opportunities for Election Stakeholders to Participate in Elections Needed

Several domestic election observer groups, during a webinar that ANFREL hosted, urged the Union Election Commission (UEC) to provide more opportunities for election stakeholders to participate in the electoral process in Myanmar. ANFREL hosted a webinar about post-election findings of election observer groups in Myanmar on 25 January 2021. The ANFREL Webinar

Odhikar Releases 2020 Bangladesh Human Rights Report

Human rights group Odhikar released their 2020 report on the human rights violations including the state of the electoral system in Bangladesh. Odhikar said in the report that "the Awami League government and the Election Commission have completely destroyed the electoral system depriving the people of their right to vote in all

Press Release: About Conducting of Parliamentary Election in Ghazni, Provincial Council Elections, District Council Elections and Municipality Elections in Major Cities

19 January 2021-Kabul The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) welcomes announcement of preparation of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for conducting the parliamentary election in Ghazni, provincial council elections, district council elections, and municipality elections in major cities and support of government from this plan. FEFA believes conducting and

Over 60% Turnout, Low Incidence of Electoral Irregularities Mark PS-52 By-Election — FAFEN

First published on FAFEN's website on 19 January 2020. ISLAMABAD, January 19, 2021: Despite COVID-19 associated challenges, the PS-52 Umer Kot-II by-elections witnessed an encouraging male and female turnout with low incidence of procedural violations indicating improved election management by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). This was first by-election held after

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