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Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
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Transfers Need Independent Assessment, Refugees’ Informed Consent

(New York) – The Bangladesh government should immediately halt imminent relocations of Rohingya refugees to remote Bhasan Char island, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have reportedly prepared a list of 4,000 Rohingya refugees to be…
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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.
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Japan Beverage Giant Pledges to Address Human Rights Concerns

(Tokyo) – Japan-based Kirin Holdings Company, Ltd. should end its partnership with Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. (MEHL) because of its connections to Myanmar’s abusive armed forces, Human Rights Now, Human Rights Watch, Japan Volunteer International…
Plastic crates containing Kirin brand beer at the Kirin Brewery Co. factory in Yokohama, Japan, June 2019. 
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Refugee Camp Restrictions Threaten ‘Critical Services’

(Bangkok) – The Bangladesh government’s new Covid-19 restrictions on access to aid put Rohingya refugees at greater risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The lockdown measures cut humanitarian workers in refugee camps by 80 percent and put the…
Rohingya refugees place empty jars in a line while waiting to collect water in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on April, 20, 2020.
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Crackdown on Free Expression Tightens

  (Bangkok) – The Myanmar government faced increasing pressure during 2019 for international justice for its human rights violations against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.…
Rohingya refugees watch ICJ proceedings at a restaurant in a refugee camp on December 12, 2019 in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
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Verdict Expected on Dubious Unlawful Association, Defamation Charges

  Update 10/27/17: On October 27, 2017, Dumdaw Nawng Lat, 67, and Langjaw Gam Seng, 35, were found guilty of all charges by the Lashio District Court in northern Shan State. Both were convicted under the Unlawful Associations…
Langjaw Gam Seng and Dumdaw Nawng Lat.
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288 Villages, Tens of Thousands of Structures Torched

(New York) – Newly released satellite images reveal that at least 288 villages were partially or totally destroyed by fire in northern Rakhine State in Burma since August 25, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The destruction…
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Ill-Treatment, Unfair Trial for Those Sought by Turkey Over Alleged Gulenist Links

(New York) – Burmese authorities have forced back Turkish asylum seeker, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen via Thailand, putting him at risk of serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 24, 2017, Burmese officials…
Burma/Thailand: Deported Turkish Man at Risk PHOTO
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Protect Religious Freedom, End Restrictions Targeting Minorities

(Rangoon) – The Burmese government should immediately reopen two madrasas, or Islamic religious schools, that local authorities sealed off in Rangoon on April 28, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should publicly commit to…
Two police officers guard one of the closed madrasas in Thaketa Township, Rangoon, after authorities inspected the building, April 29, 2017.
News

February 2017

Around the world, religious freedom is under a sustained attack. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are governments that restrict the freedom to choose and practice a religion, that discriminate in law and policy against certain religious groups, that…
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Allow Access by Lawyers and Family to Detained Baptist Leaders

Update 1/25/17: On January 24, 2017, presidential spokesperson Zaw Htay told the Democratic Voice of Burma that Langjaw Gam Seng and Dumdaw Nawng Lat had been charged under the Unlawful Associations Act and were being held in the Muse Police Station in…
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Urgently Report on Whereabouts, Well-Being; Allow UN Expert Access

(Rangoon) — Burmese authorities should urgently provide information on the whereabouts and well-being of two ethnic Kachin Baptist leaders who were apparently forcibly disappeared in Northern Shan State, Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights said today.…
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Video Testimony Matches Satellite Images of Attacks

(New York) – The Burmese military has conducted a campaign of arson, killings, and rape against ethnic Rohingya that has threatened the lives of thousands more, Human Rights Watch said today. Refugees who fled the recent violence told Human Rights Watch…
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Humanitarian Groups, Journalists, and Rights Monitors Need Access

(Rangoon) – The Burmese government and army should urgently ensure humanitarian aid can reach ethnic Rohingya and other vulnerable populations in northern Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said today. Government security operations have cut off assistance…
A woman who fled from recent violence in Maungdaw feeds her daughter at a monastery used as a temporary internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Sittwe, Burma on October 15, 2016.
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Re: Human Rights Priorities for the New Government

Dear President U Htin Kyaw, We congratulate you on becoming Myanmar’s first civilian president appointed by a democratically elected parliament since 1962. We respect the sacrifices that you, National League for Democracy (…
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Plan of Action Needed for Legal Reform, Minority Rights, Accountability

(New York) ­– Burma’s new government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD) should signal human rights are a top priority by presenting a plan of action to begin long-needed reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to new president Htin…
Myanmar's first Vice President Myint Swe, President Htin Kyaw, and second Vice President Henry Van Thio attend their swearing-in at parliament in Naypyidaw on March 30, 2016.
News
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.