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Crackdown on Media Aimed at Hiding Security Force Abuses

Myanmar security forces have launched a full-scale attack on the country’s media, targeting journalists for arrest, raiding the offices of newspapers and online media, and banning five outspoken media outlets. At least 71 journalists, including a Japanese…
P journalist Thein Zaw talks to reporters outside Insein prison after his release Wednesday, March 24, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar.
News

Politicians Persist Despite Violence, Persecution Against Muslim Minority

The Myanmar government is again blocking Rohingya Muslims from running for political office. On Monday, election officials barred Kyaw Min, head of the Rohingya-led Democracy and Human Rights Party (DHRP), from running in the national parliamentary…
Kyaw Min, head of the Democracy and Human Rights Party, speaks during a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar, January 10, 2014.
News

Restore Telecommunications, Allow Aid to Conflict Areas

Myanmar authorities have issued a surprise order reinstating the shutdown of mobile internet traffic in five townships in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine and Chin States. Added to four other Rakhine State townships where mobile internet…
A telecommunications tower in Mrauk U township, Rakhine State, Myanmar. The township is one of nine where the government has imposed an internet blackout since June 21, 2019.
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Bangladesh Allows Kids to Receive Formal Education

Bangladesh will allow 10,000 ethnic Rohingya refugee children to get a formal school curriculum for the first time after the government approved a “pilot” education program. It’s a step in the right direction, but also an urgent reminder of how…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate
News

Fencing, Internet Cutoff Restricts Rohingya Freedom of Movement, Information

Bangladesh Army Chief Gen. Aziz Ahmed said this week that a plan to surround the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar with barbed wire fences and guard towers was “in full swing.” The plan is the latest in a series of policies…
A refugee camp for Rohingya in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, August 21, 2019.
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Civilian Officials’ Intolerance of Criticism Rivaling Military’s

Speech critical of the government is under increasing attack in Myanmar. While the military has long been intolerant of criticism, members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) are not far behind. In the past…
Demonstrators shout slogans at a protest against an amendment to Myanmar’s public assembly law in Yangon, March 5, 2018.
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Myanmar Delegation Fails to Make Convincing Case for Safe Return

Myanmar officials arrived at the sprawling refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh this week to discuss the repatriation of the Rohingya population. Armed with “fact” sheets, colorful brochures, and PowerPoint…
Rohingya refugee girls cross a makeshift bamboo bridge at Kutupalong refugee camp, where they have been living amid uncertainty over their future after they fled Myanmar to escape violence a year ago, in Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.
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Prime Minister’s Racist Comments Reflect Inhumane Asylum Seeker Policy

Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s racist slurs directed at the Rohingya are bad enough. But they are made even worse because they reflect the Thai government’s cruel policy toward Rohingya asylum seekers who take perilous journeys to…
Rohingya refugees sit behind bars at a police station in Satun province, Thailand, June 12, 2019.
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Government Uses Draconian Laws to Keep a Grip on the Media

The release of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo from a Myanmar prison is a joyous occasion for their families and all of those who have advocated for their release. But it should not blind anyone to the government’s ongoing repression of…
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Relocating Refugees to Unsafe Island Would Risk Lives, Livelihoods

Bangladesh authorities say they will soon start relocating over 100,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. Officials said this is necessary to reduce pressure on the world’s largest refugee settlement…
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Reuters Journalists Mark One Year in Prison

It’s been one year since Myanmar police arrested Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo on December 12, 2017. Over the past year, Myanmar’s increasingly restricted state of press freedom has been laid bare for the world to see.…
Detained Reuters journalist Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo sit beside police officers as they leave Insein court in Yangon, Myanmar July 9, 2018.
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Governments Should Press Myanmar to Meet Necessary Conditions for Return

A few days shy of August 25 – the first anniversary of Myanmar’s massive and brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that forcibly displaced 725,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh – Myanmar’s de facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize…
Rohingya refugees walk through rice fields after crossing the border from Myanmar into Palang Khali, Bangladesh, October 19, 2017.
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Chairwoman Declares ‘No Finger Pointing’ for Atrocities Against Rohingya

  It’s now clear that Myanmar’s new “independent commission of inquiry” into human rights violations committed in Rakhine State will not be a serious and impartial investigation that will identify alleged perpetrators to be brought to justice…
A Rohingya woman walks through Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, March 22, 2018.
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Targeted for Exposing Massacre of Rohingya

A judge in Yangon formally charged two Reuters journalists on Monday for possessing confidential government documents in the latest blow to press freedom in Myanmar. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, detained for the past seven months during…
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo leave Insein court in a police van in Yangon, Myanmar, July 9, 2018.
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New Strategy Seeks to End Impunity for Atrocity Crimes

The Canadian government is stepping up the call for justice for Myanmar’s embattled ethnic Rohingya population. On Wednesday, the government announced a series of measures to respond to the Rohingya crisis including…
Refugees are seen at the Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, near Rakhine state, Myanmar, during a trip by United Nations envoys to the region April 29, 2018. Picture taken on April 29, 2018.
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Media Under Assault on World Press Freedom Day

  There’s little cause for celebration this World Press Freedom Day in Myanmar, where freedom of the press is under threat and the space for independent and critical reporting is collapsing. In the last year, despite an ostensible transition…
Detained and handcuffed Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo carries his daughter Moe Thin Wai Zin while arriving for a court hearing in Yangon, Myanmar May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang
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Government Needs to Repeal or Reform Abusive Laws

  The Myanmar government has ordered the release of three dozen political prisoners, a welcome step that still leaves scores in detention or on trial on politically motivated charges, according to local monitors. Real reform in Myanmar will…
Police officers guard in front of Insein prison while prisoners walk out, who are part of the over 8,000 inmates released to mark Myanmar’s new year amnesty announced by Myanmar's President Win Myint, in Yangon, Myanmar April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang
News

Refugees from Burma Lack Access to Crucial Services

“Sanctuary.” What does that mean to you? Probably not a massive camp made of bamboo and tarps with muddy paths, exposed to torrential rains and disease. But for more than 650,000 Rohingya refugees who fled the Burmese…
Rohingya refugees walk inside Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh January 8, 2018.
News

Customary International Law Prohibits Returning Rohingya to Burma

India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, said in a tweet that his government is “not violating any international law” if it deports Rohingya refugees “as we are not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.” Hold on. If India had not signed the…
A group of Rohingya refugees cross a canal after travelling over the Bangladesh-Burma border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017.
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