RANGOON—Two years ago, Freddy Lynn was spending most of his time at a public access centre in downtown Myitkyina in Kachin State. There he was introduced to a world that he did not learn in his university or heard about in his community that had been slowed down by more than six decades of armed conflict.
End Inhumane Detention, Family Separation of 1,800 Muslims from Burma (Bangkok, August 20, 2013) – Thailand’s government should release ethnic Rohingya from Burma who are detained under inhumane and unsafe conditions, and ensure their protection needs are met, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 13, 2013, the Thai cabinet considered a plan to transfer 1,839 Rohingya who have been held in immigration detention facilities and social welfare shelters across Thailand to refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.
The Asian Human Rights Commission has been following with concern news of the police targeting of gay and transgendered people in Burma, or Myanmar, and has recently obtained detailed information on a number of cases of alleged arbitrary arrest, detention and torture of persons on the grounds of sexual orientation. The AHRC is troubled both by the manner in which this minority group appears to have been deliberately targeted by the police, and by the implications of these police abuses not only for the rights of minorities in democratizing Burma, but also for the rights of all people living there.
Report Highlights Violations of Freedoms of Expression, Peaceful Assembly and Association (Rangoon/Bangkok, 2 May 2013): The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), together with its member Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB), and Burma Partnership, called on the Burma government to respect the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association. The appeal came during a launch event in Rangoon today of the Burmese-language version of the report of an international fact-finding mission on freedoms of expression, assembly and association in Burma held in October 2012 by FORUM-ASIA, a Bangkok-based regional human rights group representing 47 organizations in 16 Asian countries.
On 7 April 2013, Mr Chit Ko Lin was interrogated at Kyaukthadar police station in central Rangoon, following reception of a letter on 6 April from the police station summoning him to appear for questioning. It is reported that Chit Lo Kin is being investigated under Section 353, concerning assaults against public servants, and Section 506, concerning criminal intimidation, of the Penal Code. If he is found guilty under these charges, he faces a maximum sentence of four years. Chit Ko Lin is a prominent human rights defender and was a former political prisoner. He is currently a member of the Labour Committee at the 1988 Generation Peace and Open Society where he helps train workers on their rights.
The media has recently reported that the sky is now clear over Dawei for the Italian-Thai Development Company (ITD), the developer of the Dawei deep seaport and industrial estate project. For the thousands of people for whom Dawei has been their home for generations, there are only dark clouds on the horizon.
The Asian Human Rights Commission has been following with concern news of the latest outbreak of communal violence in Burma.
Burma in 2012 2012 was an important year for Burma, a Southeast Asia country with a population of approximately 60 million and also known as Myanmar, with significant and dramatic changes. The Military regime that ruled the country for many decades devolved. The undemocratic constitution, which was adopted by force and fraud in 2008, came into effect through the 2010 election, which placed the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in power. Burma’s democratic opposition is now working within the new political system. The National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, has joined the Parliament through the by-election in April 2012. Ethnic politicians who boycotted the 2010 election have formed political parties and are prepared to stand in future elections. Workers are allowed to form trade unions and peoples are allowed to stage peaceful protest subject to advance permission.
BANGKOK – The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus today called on the Thai government to postpone a December 14 deadline for unregistered migrant workers to enrol with the authorities, and also urged the authorities to investigate claims of state officers’ involvement in human trafficking of desperate Rohingya refugees seeking to get to Malaysia.
SEAPA yesterday sent the following open letter to Myanmar President U Thein Sein expressing concern about hate speech coming from some members of the Myanmar media and government officials. But rather than recommending a media clampdown, SEAPA insists that supporting media freedom is a better way to finding durable solutions to the conflict.