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Follow Up General Assembly’s Call to Halt Weapons Transfers

In mid-June, the United Nations General Assembly urged member countries to halt arms transfers to Myanmar. It’s now up to the UN Security Council to formally impose a global arms embargo on the military junta that took power in a February 1 coup to…
Myanmar police block a road near the US embassy in Yangon, Myanmar, February 22, 2021.
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Resolution Should Be Adopted, Urging States to Halt Arms Transfers

By Widad Franco The United Nations Security Council, entrusted by the UN Charter to be the world’s guardian of international peace and security, has done little to help the people of Myanmar besides issuing statements asking the junta to end the…
Demonstrators pose banner military coup
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Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, China, Myanmar Win Women’s Rights Posts

When the United Nations General Assembly held its annual election for seats on the Human Rights Council last October, five countries in the Asia regional group vied for four open seats, including two of the world’s most notorious rights abusers, Saudi…
U.N. headquarters Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
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Internet, Mobile Shutdowns Violate Rights, Hinder Access to Information

Streets throughout Myanmar were stained again on Sunday with the blood of dozens of protesters gunned down by government security forces. Local media reports indicate it was the deadliest day since the February 1 coup, with many of the killings taking…
Protesters surround an injured man in Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon, Myanmar, March 14, 2021.
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Security Council Should Impose Arms Embargo, Blacklist Military

For years, members of the United Nations Security Council have offered multiple excuses for not even trying to impose targeted sanctions on the Myanmar military. The top excuse was always: “China will veto it.” Maybe that was true, but it’s time to call…
File photo showing a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
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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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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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Evidence-Gathering into Grave International Crimes will Proceed

United Nations member countries thwarted an attempt by China to slash proposed funding for investigations into Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims. This ensures that a newly established UN body will have the…
Smoke is seen rising from Burma’s Taung Pyo Let War village from across the border in Bangladesh.
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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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Security Council Referral to ICC Only Real Hope for Justice

On Thursday, Myanmar’s government announced it was launching an “independent commission of inquiry” to “investigate the violation of human rights and related issues following the terrorist attacks” by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). The…
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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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Secretary-General Report Details Sexual Violence as Weapon of War

The United Nations secretary-general for the first time has included Myanmar’s military, or Tatmadaw, in his annual list of parties that have committed sexual violence in armed conflict. Presented today to the UN Security Council, the…
Rohingya refugees walk across a bamboo bridge in the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh, February 11, 2018.
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Broadening Attempts to Conceal Atrocities

The Burmese government plans to permanently bar entry to Yanghee Lee, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Burma. With this decision, Burma joins a handful of pariah governments – notably Eritrea, Syria, Burundi, and…
Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, speaks at a news conference in Rangoon, July 1, 2016.
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New Resolution Opportunity for Council to Address Crisis

Two months into one of the most vicious ethnic cleansing campaigns in recent history, the United Nations Security Council is still missing in action. For all its pledges to protect civilians, engage in preventive diplomacy, and never…
Rohingya refugees walk after crossing the Naf River at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Palong Khali, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh November 1, 2017.
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be in London next week to pitch foreign investment, is mired in political controversy at home. The corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund refuses to…
Malaysia's (L-R) Prime Minister Najib Razak and King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah wave Malaysian national flags during National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, August 31, 2015.
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The new, civilian-led government in Burma under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership could herald a new era for human rights in Burma. But before euphoria breaks out, the United Nations Human Rights Council should take into account the many challenges Burma…
Soldiers parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Armed Forces Day in Burma's capital Naypyidaw, March 27, 2015.
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A left-wing political activist has been convicted of inciting separatism and extremist activities, the latest in a series of criminal prosecutions in Russia against people who dare speak their minds online. Unless the…
Russia's President Putin meets with representatives of Internet Initiatives Development Fund outside of Moscow, March 27, 2015.
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The Internet has been long described as an “island of freedom” in Russia’s dramatically shrinking space for free speech – the cyber inheritor of the kitchen, which was the only (relatively) safe place for debate in the Soviet era. But, alarmed by this…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…