Published in The Nepal News on Nov. 18 ::
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) has urged the governments of SAARC region to make joint commitments to uphold international standards of human rights; and to ensure that national laws and mechanisms adequately and effectively reflect respect for human rights in this region.
Organising a press conference in Kathmandu on Monday, November 17, 2014, Chairperson of SAHR Hina Jilani said that the organisation has urged the SAARC governments to use the Kathmandu-Summit to resolve their disputes and make collective efforts to alleviate suffering of the people in this region.
Jilani also requested the governments to take out the unjustified visa restriction and lack of adequate means of communication within the region.
SAHR also stated that the situation of human rights and the threat to peace, secularism and democracy are major concerns in this region.
Stating a serious challenge to democracy in this region is the ascendance of religious extremism and intolerance, SAHR urged governments to properly manage such issues by their collective efforts.
SAHR also drew attention of the governments to peoples’ deteriorating fundamental rights — especially freedom of assembly and association, freedom of expression, rights to protest and press freedom in this region.
The organisation also asked the people of this region to continue their struggle during difficult circumstances and to aspire towards the creation of a strong civil society.
SAHR is a regional democratic organization affiliated to human rights activists, practitioners, experts and institutions committed to addressing human rights at both national and regional level.