Human Rights


Stung by criticism after one of its members refused to credit the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government of Aung San Suu Kyi with securing the release of dozens of student activists last Friday, the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) has issued a statement expressing gratitude for the move.
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The European Union has welcomed the release of student protesters in Myanmar, according to a statement issued April 9.
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Myanmar’s new government released scores of jailed activists on Friday, just over a week after assuming power, and said it was preparing to pardon 100 more people serving sentences for political offences.
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Amid news of charges being cleared against political detainees, in a court in Mandalay’s Chanayethazan Township, two Muslim interfaith activists were sentenced to two more years in prison—with labor—on Friday for allegedly associating with unlawful organizations.
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The Karen National Union (KNU) in Dupalayar District is preparing three different areas in Burma for returning refugees from Thai camps. A 22-member group of officials from the Thai Noh Hpo refugee camp, Karen Refugee Committee (KRC), Thai authorities, NGOs workers, and The Border Consortium (TBC) recently met with KNU officials to discuss upcoming resettlement operations.
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Soe was barely 18 years old. He sat innocently beside me, dressed in a blue Burmese longyi, on the floor in a temple in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon Province. He possessed just a few bags of basic items consisting of clothing and property. (more…)

This year it is Mandalay that has broken the bounds of all reason or responsibility by threatening to imprison women who appear in outfits deemed too skimpy during water festival.
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Following the release of dozens of student protestors in Myanmar earlier today, the Tharawaddy Court in Myanmar released several more protestors including Phyoe Phyoe Aung, a student leader, and her husband, Lin Htet Naing. The move came after the new government announced on April 7 that it would work to release all prisoners of conscience as soon as possible.
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Immediately following her appointment as State Counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi announced plans to secure the release of political prisoners and detained activists “as soon as possible.”
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Burma’s long-established ethnic Karen armed organization, the Karen National Union (KNU), has been preparing land and shelter for the possible return of civilians displaced internally and on the Thai-Burma border after more than six decades of civil war with government forces.
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Members of the European Burma Network (EBN) have called upon the new NLD government to act swiftly to start to address the Rohingya crisis in the country in a statement released on 6 April.
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Senior journalists in Burma are calling on new Information Minister Pe Myint to bring further media reforms under the current National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government.
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Manpang People’s Militia coerced leaders and residents of several villages to attend a meeting about coal excavations in Lashio district in northern Shan State. The militia led by Lit. Mon summoned the residents of Kwan Koot, Ho Nar, and Loi Nguen villages to Kwan Koot Monastery to discuss the militia’s involvement in excavating coal in Tanyang District.
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Former President Thein Sein’s spokesperson Zaw Htay, better known by his Facebook account Hmuu Zaw, will serve another term in the President’s Office but in the higher position of deputy director general, he said at a press conference in Naypyidaw on Wednesday.
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Laos is not a major player in regional affairs. It tends to be viewed as a rather strange backward country where little happens and no one cares very much if it does.
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Jailed student activists standing trial for taking part in education reform protests have slammed the head of Burma’s permanent mission to the United Nations for describing them as mere criminals.
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Burma, once isolated regionally and globally, is rapidly opening up with ongoing political reforms. Foreign affairs representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in particular are now anticipating a relationship with a new Burmese counterpart. Yet she is no stranger to them: the foreign minister is also the country’s charismatic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
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A representative of Unicef in Burma urged the National League for Democracy (NLD) government to sign off on the international Mine Ban Treaty and halt landmine use in conflict zones on Monday, the fourth in-country commemoration of International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
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Ahead of a United Nations summit on global drug issues, Burma’s Drug Policy Advocacy Group (DPAG) has highlighted the need to develop humane drug policies at home.
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Muslim organizations both overseas and within Burma have condemned a statement made by Religious Affairs Minister Aung Ko that those who practice Islam are not full citizens of the country.
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