Violations of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Asia


On 28 June 2023, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) delivered a statement at the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council for the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. The statement highlighted serious violations of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in several Asian countries. Read the statement below.

Mister President,

We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report on accountability for serious human rights violations committed against activists and protesters.

FIDH remains disturbed by the ongoing repression of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in many countries in Asia. As the Special Rapporteur notes in his report, this repression takes place with totally impunity.

The overall picture is ugly and menacing.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban violently dispersed peaceful protests held by courageous women to reclaim their rights. Dozens of them were arrested and several sentenced to prison.

In Bangladesh, demonstrations by members and supporters of the political opposition have been met with disproportionate and unnecessary force.

In Iran, not a single member of the authorities and their proxies has been held accountable for the killing of more than 600 civilians and the multitude of those injured in the crackdown on the nationwide protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini in September last year.

In Myanmar, brave peaceful protesters who continue to defy the military junta across the country are summarily executed, arbitrarily arrested, disappeared, or attacked by military, police, and pro-junta elements.

In Pakistan, scores of supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan were arrested following protests, some of them violent, and now face trials in military courts.

Mr. Special Rapporteur, we urge you to continue denouncing these abuses and amplify the voices of peaceful protesters in Asia and beyond.

In your view, how can UN member states support civil society who seeks to exercise the right to freedom of peaceful assembly under increasingly difficult circumstances?

Thank you.

Read more