On 18 May 2015, Mr. Dung Mai, a prominent blogger, was briefly detained by Vietnamese authorities after his return to Hanoi from Singapore. There he had attended a workshop on the use of a new mobile tool to promote citizen journalism. He was released shortly after.
Thailand: Seminar on environmental impact of disputed oil field monitored by military and police
May 8, 2015
On 5 May 2015, a public seminar about the impact of a disputed oil field on the enviroment in Na Moon village, Khon Kaen province was monitored by about 30 military from Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and police officers in plainclothes and uniform. Before the seminar started, the officers summoned Chainarong Sretthachau, a lecturer of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the university, who was one of the speakers of the seminar, for a 10 minutes discussion about the event. The officers demanded that no comments on the junta be made and that anything symbolising opposition against the regime would not be tolerated. Moreover, the organisers of the seminar were ordered to always invite officers to participate in future seminars on the same topic. The public seminar titled ‘EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Na Moon: the Injustice of Land Based Petroleum in Isan’ was organised at Maha Sarakham University in the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham.
On 1 May 2015, Ms. Ambiga Sreenevasan, the president of National Human Rights Society (Hakam) was arrested and detained by the police for participating in the May Day rally against the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST). She is being investigated under Section 143 of the Penal Code for unlawful assembly. S Arulchelvam from Parti Sosialis Malaysia and DAP MP Anthony Loke were similarly arrested and detained under Section 143 of the Penal Code.
On 31 March 2015, Mr. Munish Kumar and Mr. Prabhat Dhyani, human rights defenders fighting for the rights of the Buxa Tribe in Ramnagar, Nainital, Uttarakhand in India, were assaulted and severely injured by people involved in illegal quarrying in the region. Mr. Munish Kumar is the editor of a local Hindi fortnightly publication titled ’Nagrik’ (Citizen) which mainly covers political news. Mr. Prabhat Dhyani is a lawyer and political activist associated with the regional party ‘Uttarkhand Parivartan Party’. He is also the editor of a local Hindi weekly news magazine ’Uttarakhand Prabhat Times”.
India: 6 land rights defenders arrested and intimidated
April 21, 2015
On 28 March 2015, six land rights defenders from Tadvi Tribe in the Kevadia Village of Narmada District in Gujarat, India were arbitrarily arrested, intimidated and harassed by the police. They were protesting landgrabs in their area as the Government of Gujarat wants to acquire 10 hectares for the construction of a hotel known as “Shreshtha Bharat Bhavan” under its tourism project. The six six were taken to an undisclosed location at 11.00am and released after 6.30pm They were booked under Section 68 and released under Section 69.
On 15 April 2015, at least 10 people were detained by authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong following clashes between police and local residents protesting pollution from a nearby ironworks, ethnic minority residents of Daying village near Qingyuan city.
On 9 April 2015, bank accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen by the Indian governments after accusing the international environment campaign group of encouraging “anti-development” protests in the emerging economic power.
The Union Home Ministry suspended the official registration for foreign funding of Greenpeace India for six months and froze seven bank accounts connected with the organisation.
On 27 February 2015, Mr. Indra Pelani, an Indonesian community-based human rights defender and a farmer, was allegedly beaten to death by seven security guards of PT Wira Karya Sakti (WKS), a company owned by Asian Pulp and Paper (APP), in Jambi province, Indonesia.
On 25 March 2015, around 4pm, two cars stopped the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand (SPFT) members’ car while they were traveling out of the Khlong Sai Pattana community. It is believed that SPFT members were stopped because their car was mistaken for that of human rights defenders and SPFT member Mr Pratheep Rakhanthong. He has received multiple death threats due to his leadership role in SPFT.
Thailand: military filed lawsuit against villager for posting photo of military’s forced eviction
March 27, 2015
On 24 March 2015, Mr. Adisak Yimram, an employee of the forest fire protection unit was summoned by the military officers from Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) of the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum. The officers filed a lawsuit against Mr. Yimram under article 14 of the Computer Crime Code for importing false information into a computer system.