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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…
News

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.…
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News

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

Related Content Download letter to President U Htin Kyaw 
 
 Dear President U Htin Kyaw…
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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
News

Condemn Official’s Anti-Gay Statements

(New York) – Burma’s government should publicly condemn grossly discriminatory remarks by a regional official about gay men and transgender women, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to senior Burmese officials. The Burmese government is obligated…
Participant Mummy Sein, 79, attends an event celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Rangoon, Burma on May 17, 2013.
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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…
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There is much to be skeptical of in Burma’s plan for nationwide elections in October. But today one small, yet important, first step toward making Burma a genuine rights-respecting democracy took place. As part of a national process to update voter lists…
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Burma’s simmering religious tensions flared in its second biggest city, Mandalay this week, as Buddhists and Muslims  clashed over reports of an alleged rape involving a young Buddhist girl and a Muslim man. Clashes between mobs of men of both communities…