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POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO PROECT FoRB HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN SOUTH ASIA




Pakistan

  1. Conduct thorough and transparent investigations into attacks on HRDs.
  2. Make it easier for NGOs to acquire the appropriate paperwork and documentation to carry out activities in certain districts of Pakistan.
  3. Amend blasphemy laws, particularly those that violate freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, with a view to fully repeal them in the future: Sections 295A, 295B and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code
  4. Honour its constitutional and international obligation to protect HDRs, ensuring they are not intimidated or harassed..



india

  1. Add safeguards to existing legislation so as to protect NGOs from politically motivated curtailment of funding: Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010.
  2. End the arbitrary detention of HRDs.
  3. End intrusive surveillance of HRDs.
  4. End the smear campaigns against HRDs committed by the state, especially through the passing of laws that stifle political dissent.
  5. Publicly condemn harassment of HRDs, and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable.
  6. Reform sedition laws so that they may not be misused against HRDs: Section 124A Indian Penal Code.
  7. Encourage an environment in which HRDs are able to work without fear ofv reprisal, and remove restrictions on HRDs attempting to travel to international assemblies which promote human rights.




nepal

  1. Create a commission that seeks to uphold the rights of religious minorities.
  2. Repeal an order that prevents NGOs from operating on the basis of faith: District Development Committee stay order.
  3. Ensure the independence and safe working of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
  4. Amend the constitution so as to fully ensure the protection of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) and freedom of expression in Nepal: Article 26(3) of the Constitution and Section 9 of the Penal Code




Sri lanka

  1. End surveillance and intimidation of HRDs by state officials, and hold to account those who make discriminatory statements against them.
  2. Thoroughly investigate cases of attacks on HRDs; provide details on the current status of ongoing investigations in relation to rights violations of HRDs.
  3. Uphold Sri Lanka’s national and international commitments to protect the rights of HRDs.
  4. Repeal anti-terror legislation that has been used to curtail the activities of HRDs in Sri Lanka: Prevention of Terrorism Act



bangladesh

  1. Conduct thorough investigations into the spate of attacks on and murders of bloggers, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
  2. Amend financial legislation that is used to deregister NGOs that criticize the government and restrict the work of HRDs: Foreign Donations Regulation Act
  3. Amend legislation that restricts the rights of HRDs to voice criticisms and concerns online without fear of sanctions: Digital Security Act 2016