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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.
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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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But the International Community Should Do Much More to Ensure that the Refugees Can Safely Return to Myanmar

In late May, thousands of Rohingya refugees whom Bangladesh authorities had relocated to remote Bhasan Char island broke out of their shelters during a visit by United Nations representatives. “We don’t want to live here,” they chanted.…
A man climbs through barbed wire fencing at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, as a massive fire swept through the camps on March 22, 2021.
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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.
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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…
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Mandate of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan Should Be Renewed in Full

Next month, the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan will come up for renewal. Looking at recent developments, it’s clear the UN Human Rights Council should renew the commission’s mandate in full. The South Sudanese authorities…
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Action Puts Lives at Risk, Defies Court Order

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government should urgently investigate the Immigration Department’s return of 1,086 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar in defiance of a court order, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 23, 2021, the Malaysian High Court…
Image taken from a video of an immigration truck with security guards and unidentified people on the road to Lumut Naval Base on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 in Lumut, Malaysia. 
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Returned Nationals Would Face Oppressive Military Rule

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Malaysian government should halt plans to return 1,200 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar, Fortify Rights and Human Rights Watch said today. The government has agreed to hand over the nationals, all currently in Malaysian custody, to…
Undocumented migrants are detained during a crackdown by the Immigration Department in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 20, 2020.
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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.
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The Government Approves War Crimes Court, Other Measures

After years of relative silence, South Sudan’s government has finally given approval to establish accountability mechanisms to address the country’s conflict, including a war crimes court in partnership with the African Union (AU). This could…
Women stand outside a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) site in Yei
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Who is Dominic Ongwen? What is the Lord’s Resistance Army? How did the ICC come to bring charges against Ongwen? What are the charges against Ongwen? How does Ongwen’s experience as a child soldier affect judicial proceedings against…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
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Oppressed Ethnic Group Denied Right to Freedom of Movement

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, government restrictions on movement in Myanmar have been widespread, but certain people have been more affected than others. On January 6, Myanmar police detained 99 ethnic Rohingya in Yangon for traveling without…
Police officers wearing facemasks stand on a street in Yangon, Myanmar, November 3, 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.
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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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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. 
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Webinar Report

On August 25, Transitional Justice Working Group of South Sudan, Human Rights Watch, and Institute for Security Studies held a webinar for the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) members and other officials to discuss the urgency for the…
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Camp ‘Closures’ Entrench Confinement, Persecution

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar government should urgently end the arbitrary and indefinite detention of approximately 130,000 Rohingya Muslims in squalid and abusive camps in Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Recent measures…
A crowd of people stand behind a fence while an armed officer watches them
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…