Human Rights

Leading members of the National Network for Education Reform (NNER) have voiced criticisms of the government’s approach to the current education reform movement in Burma.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar today called on the country’s authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process “before they undermine the success achieved so far.” (more…)

A U.N. human rights investigator said on Wednesday she expects Myanmar to guarantee her security, despite failing to censure a radical Buddhist monk who called her a “whore” and incited his followers against her.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide says it is deeply concerned about the violations of freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression in Myanmar, amid growing religious intolerance, as illustrated by two current cases of “religious defamation,” according to a press release on March 17.

The World Food Programme has welcomed the Myanmar’s adoption of the Zero Hunger Challenge and its aim of achieving Zero Hunger in Myanmar by 2025, according to a press release from the United Nations Development Programme and World Food Programme on March 13. (more…)

A committee formed by the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) to investigate the killing of 35 of its own members in the early 1990s released a report on Sunday documenting the extrajudicial killings and torture in detail, offering the first official account of a dark chapter in the rebel armed group’s 26-year existence. (more…)

Released detainees claimed that 20 women arrested during a recent crackdown on student protests were administered mandatory pregnancy tests while in detention, drawing criticism from activists who view the practice as unusual, unnecessary and intended to cause humiliation. (more…)

Four members of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) were detained for questioning at Thayawady Prison because they asked to inspect the list of people being held by the police overnight, Police Colonel Win Sein, the deputy head of Bago Region, told the Daily Eleven.

Two labour union leaders and two activists under arrest for demonstrating for higher wages have threatened to go on hunger strike in Yangon’s Insein prison if their case is moved to another court. (more…)

The Myanmar Journalist Network has called on media organisations to boycott the activities of government officials in response to what they claim was the direct targeting and beating of journalists during the March 10 crackdown on student protesters in Letpadan. (more…)

A journalist from the Burmese language weekly Popular Journal was reportedly beaten on Mar. 10 by three members of the now-infamous red armband gang in Rangoon, after an attempt to conduct an interview over their role in a violent attack on student protesters outside Sule Pagoda.

The recent re-sentencing of three prominent Rohingya community leaders in Arakan State and the ongoing detention of two others points to the uneven application of the rule of law in the restive region, their lawyer claims.

Buddhist monks have prepared a lawsuit against Myanmar’s interior minister, accusing police of using poisonous chemicals to break up a protest in 2012, the monks and a human rights organisation said on Monday.

Parliamentarians and some student leaders will resume talks today on proposed amendments to the National Education Law, amid suggestions of a split in student ranks.

President Obama has based his foreign policy on the notion that it is better to “engage” than confront hostile nations and that such diplomacy should encourage gradual reforms, rather than revolution or regime change. The results of such outreach to Cuba and Iran are not yet in, but his administration continues to tout Burma as an example of how his strategy can work. There, a once-isolated military regime freed political prisoners and allowed its opposition to participate in a parliamentary election while being showered with U.S. economic and political concessions, including two visits by Mr. Obama. As recently as last month, the State Department’s top official for Asia, Daniel Russel, said Burma could be a model for North Korea: “Change in North Korea does not need to be regime change, as the example of Burma shows,” he said.

Activists and celebrities packed a Yangon hall of the Free Funeral Service Society yesterday to denounce police violence against students and other protesters in Letpadan and to demand their release from prison. (more…)

Two Burmese journalists were released from a prison in Pegu Division on Friday after being detained for three nights. Nine students were also let go. (more…)

Burmese Buddhist monks have claimed that the government fabricated accounts that appeared in state media, which claimed that those monks detained in the aftermath of the Letpadan student protests had apologised for their actions and promised to avoid political action in the future. (more…)

Students detained on Tuesday and released two days later in connection with a violent government crackdown on a protest in Letpadan, Pegu Division, described police conduct as “unfair,” “brutal” and “unforgivable” in remarks to reporters shortly after their release. (more…)

A leading education reform network has announced that it will abstain from parliamentary discussions until all student demonstrators arrested earlier this week are released from custody. (more…)

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