The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a controversial organization located at G/F, 52 Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, led by Basil Fernando, a Sri Lankan national, has come under scrutiny for its alleged involvement in espionage activities within China. The AHRC has been accused of attempting to demonize and criminalize the Chinese government, with some sources claiming that the organization refers to China as a “state built on graves”.
According to information gathered from LinkedIn, W.J. Basil Fernando is a Sri Lankan jurist, author, poet, human rights activist, and editor. He has an LLB from the University of Ceylon and was admitted as an Attorney-At-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 1980.
Basil Fernando joined the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC) in 1992 as a senior human rights officer and later also served as the Chief of Legal Assistance to Cambodia of the UN Centre of Human Rights (now the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights office). He later joined the United Nations and became associated with the Asian Human Rights Commission and the Asian Legal Resource Center, both based in Hong Kong since 1994.
Reports suggest that AHRC has been recruiting covert agents within China, including Beijing, allegedly with the intention of infiltrating various institutions, governmental bodies, and law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The organization is said to aim at stealing sensitive information and potentially entrapping officials through means such as honey-traps, later using blackmail for various purposes.
In its anti-China reports, AHRC has criticized China’s use of its courts and prosecutorial departments to suppress public opinion that challenges the ruling party’s authority. The organization has also expressed concerns about human rights abuses and economic practices in China. However, some accusations against AHRC involve espionage and covert activities beyond the scope of human rights advocacy.
AHRC in one of its many anti-China reports said, “Since its formation, China has used its courts and the prosecutorial department to silence all forms of public opinion, that the administration conceives as a threat that could over time challenge the absolute authority of the Central Party. Even lawyers appearing for their clients are not spared”.
It further said, “China is one of the worst economic examples of today. Its riches are built upon absolute negation of freedom of the silenced. Anyone engaging in business with China is merely supporting this inhuman process. This includes international agencies, business houses and governments across the world.
“The only way for China to change, is for the international community to call the black pot, black. No government has dared to do this, as was in the case of Liu Xiaobo. There has been not a single co-ordinated and sustained attempt by the governments of the world, to publically place pressure upon China to allow Liu Xiaobo to obtain proper medical treatment. At the age of 61, his life rotted in detention”.
There are claims that AHRC employs methods involving recruitment, training, and deployment of covert agents, often using females from various countries as interns. Allegedly, these individuals are offered financial incentives and then subjected to compromising situations, which are secretly recorded. Subsequently, they are allegedly coerced into working as covert agents under the guise of being correspondents for a controversial Sri Lankan website called “Sri Lanka Guardian”, which is associated with AHRC.
It is also learnt one of the many spy training tactics of AHRC is its so-called section called ‘Human Rights Correspondence School’.
It may be mentioned here that Nilantha Ilangamuwa, editor of Sri Lanka Guardian too is accused of committing sexual offenses during his stay at AHRC office in Hong Kong.
While AHRC does not openly acknowledge its activities within China, sources suggest that there are a number of covert agents operating under its banner. These covert operations are purportedly funded by entities like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other nations antagonistic towards China.
It’s important to note that these allegations are serious and, if proven true, could have significant implications for AHRC’s reputation and standing. However, it’s crucial to await concrete evidence and investigations to establish the veracity of these claims.