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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.
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

Lack of a Constitutional Court Hinders Rights

(Tunis) – Tunisia still faces numerous hurdles to protecting its human rights gains nine years after Tunisians ousted the authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.    The…
A Tunisian woman walks past a graffiti that reads "Freedom is a daily practice" in Tunis April 26, 2011.
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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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Reform Laws to Protect Rights of Small Landowners

  (Yangon) – The government of Myanmar should promptly provide redress for past illegal confiscations of land, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should also enact laws and regulations to safeguard the rights of…
La Win, 61, a farmer from the Ayeyarwady Region, sits on a portion of the 35 acres of land he said was taken from him in 2004 by a company. When asked about the effect of the seizure of the land he said, “I suffered great losses in every aspect of my life
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

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.
News

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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Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
News

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…
News

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…
20161221rohingya 2 PHOTO
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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.
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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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There is no starker evidence of the ethnic cleansing that rocked the Arakan State capital, Sittwe, in Burma in 2012 than the Rohingya Muslim enclave of Aung Mingalar. Crammed into a couple short blocks in the town center, ringed by police and army…
Aung Mingalar mosque
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The impact of Myanmar's repressive policy toward Rohingya Muslims was made clear in recent weeks with scenes of desperate people crammed into boats, an escalation of a miserable maritime flight in which an estimated 90,000 people have fallen prey to…