Human Rights


In a statement on Friday, Burma’s National Human Rights Commission criticized overcrowding, and inadequate staffing and provisions of water and medicine, at Katha Prison in Sagaing Division, and called for drastic improvements to be made.

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In Burma, over 1.1 million Rohingya currently suffer from the impacts of systematic, widespread oppression. For decades, the Muslim minority in a largely Buddhist country has been denied citizenship, rendered stateless, and stripped of basic rights. The Rohingya face daily threats to their life and security in what the United Nations declares amount to “crimes against humanity.” Human rights activists deem the Rohingya the most persecuted minority in the world, warning of direct state involvement in actions that could constitute ethnic cleansing.

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“It is not the United Nations,” said Ashin Wirathu, “but the United Muslim Nations.” Indeed according to Wirathu, a Buddhist monk dubbed by Time magazine the “The Face of Buddhist Terror”, even US President Barack Obama was duped by Muslims, and this is the reason why he spoke in defence of Rohingya rights during his visit to Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 2014.

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Being transgender can mean a world of possible gender identities, where people move from one gender to another and can also put aside the choice of male and female for one of “third gender”. Across Asia, including in Myanmar, many societies have a place for a third gender identity, and increasingly they are legally recognised too.

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In a conference held in Los Angeles on Saturday by the Burmese American Muslims Association (BAMA), an international panel of speakers condemned the ongoing persecution of Burma’s Rohingya minority, placing it within the framework of genocide, and calling on the country’s current government to restore the marginalized group’s rights.

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Ethnic Ta’ang community leaders are demanding justice and human rights for five Namhsan township villagers detained by the military on August 1.

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The highest-ranking officer facing court martial for the killing of five villagers in the remote Shan State village of Mong Yaw denied giving orders to kill the men, according to witnesses who attended a hearing on the case on Tuesday.

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Like their better-known fellow followers of Islam who self-identify as Rohingya, minority Kaman Muslims are hopeful that their lives will improve under the National League for Democracy government.

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Earlier this year the United Nations published a report ‘Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’, which concluded that human rights violations against us could amount to crimes against humanity.

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Seven Burma Army soldiers, including four commissioned officers, accused of murdering five civilians in Mong Yaw Village of Lashio Township in late June were brought before a court martial at North Eastern Command headquarters in Lashio, northern Shan state on Tuesday.

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A Tatmadaw investigation into the death of a villager in Kachin State has found a soldier from within its ranks guilty, with a military tribunal ruling that he be stripped of his rank and discharged from the military, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission said in a statement last week.

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Thailand and Myanmar must agree on a migrant worker system that does not functionally result in “legal human-trafficking”, activists said at a press conference last week.

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Authorities exhumed the bodies of seven locals who were killed in Lashio Township’s Mong Yaw Village on June 28 in order to perform autopsies.

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The Rakhine State Ministry for Border Affairs and Security is continuing to pressure an ethnic armed group to retract a statement it made alleging forced portering by the Tatmadaw. The ministry, which is headed by a military appointee, refuses to release a detained communications officer of the group until its demand is met, according to members of the armed organisation.

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Undoubtedly, the new government is a “civilian government”, and the second parliament was elected through a fair election. Many have celebrated that, finally, the wishes of the people of Myanmar have been heard. However, the reality is that in both houses of parliament, as well as in the state and regional parliaments, 25 percent of seats are reserved for MPs appointed by the Tatmadaw. Furthermore, the military still controls three key government ministries, a backdrop which may continue to impose obstacles and challenges.

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The Burmese army and its allies arbitrarily arrest, torture and kill civilians as they bid to secure coal-mining concessions in the Nam Ma area of Hsipaw in northern Shan State, according to a leading Shan rights group.

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The Karen National Union (KNU) has vowed to investigate the alleged abuse of young men in Tenasserim Division caught on a video that is circulating online.

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The Myanmar government should immediately free political activist Khaing Myo Htun and investigate allegations that the army has committed abuses against civilians in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, legal and advocacy organization Earth Rights International (ERI) said in a statement on 4 August.

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Morning arrives slowly at Pan Kha Kho refugee camp. It takes a moment for the lemon sun to creep over the horizon, pausing before rising to reveal rows of corrugated-iron roofs lining the valley ahead.

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A Shan human rights group has pressed the Burmese government to immediately suspend all resource extraction projects in ethnic states that have been ravaged by conflict and to end Burma Army offenses against civilians.

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