Fifty one civil society organizations from Burma today submitted a petition to the Thai government at the ASEAN People’s Forum demanding an immediate halt to dam plans on the Salween River to avoid being drawn into Burma’s escalating civil war.
(23 September 2009, Geneva/Bangkok) The United Nations Human Rights Council (Council) concluded its general debate yesterday, under “agenda item 4: human rights situations that require the Council’s attention”. This crucial agenda item is to provide the Council with the opportunity to bring to attention country-specific human rights situations. Regrettably, however, this was not the case at the 12th regular session of the Council with only 14 member and observer States addressing the Council on Burma.
(Mae Sot - Thailand) - The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP) can confirm that so far 43 political prisoners have been released from various prisons in Burma.
On 16 Sept. 2009, the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC), the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) and the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) will petition the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants calling for an urgent inquiry into the commencement of a nationality verification process for Burmese migrants in Thailand. Subsequently, a set of recommendations will be submitted to the Royal Thai Government.
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) condemns the guilty verdict and 18-month extended house arrest meted out to Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on 11 August 2009. SEAPA joins the international community in rejecting this judgment, and in demanding the immediate release of Suu Kyi, a democracy icon in Burma and for the rest of the world.
As the target date for launching the ASEAN human rights body (AHRB) nears, civil society groups have warned depriving it of watchdog powers would erode the credibility of the regional organization.