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Myanmar’s Coup Built on Years of Failed Accountability

On August 1, Myanmar’s commander-in-chief, Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, dressed in civilian clothes, made a televised speech six months to the day after leading a coup that thrust the country back under brutal military rule. Amid claims of establishing a…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
News

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.
News

Adds to Severe Restrictions on the Internet, Media

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta added a ban on satellite television to existing restrictions on the internet and media, tightening its grip over information in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 4, 2021, the ruling State Administration…
Anti-coup protesters flash the three-finger sign of defiance during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on April 23, 2021.
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Hundreds Detained Include Officials, Civil Servants, Doctors

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release all those arbitrarily arrested since the military seized power on February 1, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Detainees include political leaders…
Protesters raise three-finger salutes from inside a police vehicle after a being detained during an anti-coup protest in Mandalay, Myanmar, February 9, 2021.
News
Laetitia Bader, Human Rights Watch’s Horn of Africa Director, recently returned from a research mission in Sudan to interview refugees who fled the fighting that broke out in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in early November 2020. For several weeks, federal…
People who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region ride a bus to the Village 8 temporary shelter near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, December 1, 2020. 
News

Woman Sentenced to 9 Months at Hard Labor

(Bangkok) – A Myanmar court has sentenced a woman to nine months in prison at hard labor because she claimed that she and her family were pressured to vote for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party in the November 8, 2020 general…
Protesters hold placards that read "Oppose unfair action of election! Investigate voting fraud around the country!" in a rally to condemn the November 8 general election results in Yangon, Myanmar on Friday, November 20, 2020.
News

Safeguard Minority Voters’ Rights

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s Union Election Commission has made critical decisions without meaningful transparency that will affect the November 8, 2020 election in many ethnic minority areas, Human Rights Watch said today. The decision-making process of the…
Members of the Union Election Commission  during a press conference in Naypyitaw, Myanmar on Thursday, June 4, 2020. 
Report
Summary We have nothing called freedom. –Mohammed Siddiq, lived in Sin Tet Maw camp in Pauktaw, September 2020 Hamida Begum was born in Kyaukpyu, a coastal town in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, in a neighborhood where Rohingya Muslims, Kaman…
News

Rohingya Excluded, Unequal Media Access, Arrests of Critics

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s electoral process is undermined by systemic problems and rights abuses that will deprive people of their right to fairly elect their government, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliamentary, state, and local elections are…
A resident checks voting lists at an administrative office in Yangon ahead of Myanmar’s upcoming general election, July 25, 2020. 
News

Trip Covers Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar

(Tokyo) – Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi should forcefully raise human rights concerns on an upcoming regional trip, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Motegi will visit Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos,…
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi meets the media in Tokyo on May 28, 2020. 
News
In August 2017, the desperate plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims grabbed headlines when the military’s brutal campaign of murder, rape and other abuses forced more than 740,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. In 2019, the United Nations-backed…
Members of Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority walk through rice fields after crossing the border into Bangladesh near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area, September 5, 2017.
News

Pursuit of Justice for Serious Crimes Continues Amidst Challenges

July 17 marks International Criminal Justice Day, commemorating the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is a moment to reflect on the importance of obtaining justice for…
Members of Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority walk through rice fields after crossing the border into Bangladesh near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area, September 5, 2017.
News

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. 
News

Burmese Authorities Are Using Covid-19 Response Measures as a Pretext to Harass and Extort Rohingyas

This is what life is like for the 130,000 internally displaced Rohingyas trapped in detention camps in central Rakhine state in Myanmar: in the camps, they have no future, with little access to land or livelihoods. They depend on foreign aid supplies and…
Rohingya refugees stand at the Kutupalong refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, April 1, 2020.
News

Ending Repression Needed to Prevent Genocide

  The clock is ticking for Myanmar to report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. This week, Myanmar’s government issued two presidential directives in response to the ICJ’s January order that the government and…
Rohingya walk at Dar Paing camp, Rakhine State, Myanmar, March 17, 2017.
News

How a Small African Nation Took on Myanmar’s Crisis – and Won

It was a year ago that you started pursuing the unique approach to holding Myanmar accountable in the ICJ. How did that come about? The idea of a country without any connection to the crimes bringing a case to the International Court of Justice had…
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.