Myanmar


Share
Share

Myanmar (Burma) Human Rights

Myanmar Elections

The military rulers of Myanmar have jailed thousands of people in their continuing efforts to crush all dissenting views. Most prominent of those detained was Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was released on November 13, 2010 and has been the beacon of hope and change for nearly two decades in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma.

Many of Myanmar's 55 million people live in poverty and suffer from ongoing human rights violations. Those who express dissenting views face harassment, arbitrary arrest, torture, imprisonment and sometimes even extrajudicial executions. Political prisoners probably number in the hundreds, maybe more. No transparent process has been carried out to determine the correct number. AI has called upon the UN to assist the government in convening a panel, including the National League for Democracy, to ensure that all political prisoners are identified.

Since May 2010 AI has also called on the UN to establish an international commission of inquiry into grave crimes in conflict zones including extra judicial killing, arbitrary detention, torture and forced labor on a large scale.

The Myanmar government declared a state of emergency in Rakhine State on June 10, following an outbreak of communal violence in the previous week among the Buddhist Rakhine, Muslim Rakhine, and Muslim Rohingya communities. It remains in effect in several areas.

Since then, Myanmar's Border Security Force (nasaka), army and police have conducted massive sweeps in areas that are heavily populated by Rohingyas. Hundreds of mostly men and boys have been detained, nearly all held incommunicado, and some subjected to ill-treatment.

Most arrests appear to have been arbitrary and discriminatory, violating the rights to liberty and to freedom from discrimination on grounds of religion.

Political prisoners in Myanmar are still held under vague laws frequently used by the government to criminalize peaceful political dissent. They are being held in grim conditions, with inadequate food and sanitation. Many are in poor health and do not receive proper medical treatment. Many were tortured during their initial interrogation and detention, and still risk torture as a punishment at the hands of prison officers.

Read More

Human Rights Concerns

On August 19, 2007 protesters of the 88 Generation Movement took to the streets of Yangon, then Myanmar's capital city, to peacefully protest overnight increases in gasoline prices by 66%, and compressed natural gas prices up five-fold. The huge rises in oil and gas prices have exacerbated living expenses, placing obstacles for many in the nation.

On August 21 and 22, demonstrators that were involved in organizing and participating in the August 19 protests were detained by government security forces, and had their homes searched without arrest or search warrants. In cities and townships nationwide, demonstrators who peacefully assembled, to express their dissent were continually and violently dispersed, beaten, and detained by both government security forces and its closely linked civilian organizations – Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and Swan Arrshin.

It is believed that the demonstrators will be charged under Law 5/96, which allows up to 20-year prison sentences for anyone who is found guilty of expressing opinions which disrupt the stability of the state, or "undermine, belittle and make people misunderstand the functions being carried out by the National Convention." Further, on September 7, individuals detained for other peaceful dissent not related to the one just mentioned, were tried in prison and handed life sentences. By no means were these trials held to international legal norms. It is feared that the same methods of trying individuals will be used in the latest crackdown and arrests.

Amnesty International is concerned that the vague and sweeping provisions of Law 5/96 criminalize the peaceful expression of political beliefs, and has called for its repeal. AI has called upon the government of Myanmar to uphold universal human rights standards enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially those of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, freedom from torture and ill-treatment, and fair trial. AI is also concerned that torture and other forms of ill treatment have been used to extract ficticious confessions that will be presented as evidence against the detainees. Detainees often do not receive immediate medical treatment, access to lawyers, family, and the courts. Myanmar currently has at least 1,158 political prisoners detained – one of the highest of such populations worldwide.

Myanmar Newsroom



November 14, 2018 • Press Release

Myanmar: Rohingya returns plan puts thousands at risk

Bangladesh and Myanmar authorities must immediately halt plans to send Rohingya refugees back to Rakhine State, Amnesty International said today.

November 12, 2018 • Press Release

Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty’s highest honor

Amnesty International announced today that it has withdrawn its highest honor, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, from Aung San Suu Kyi, in light of the Myanmar leader’s shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for. On 11 November, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo wrote to Aung San Suu Kyi to inform her the organization is revoking the 2009 award. Half way through her …

October 4, 2018 • Press Release

EXPULSION OF SEVEN ROHINGYA: A DARK DAY FOR INDIA TODAY

Today, seven Rohingya men, Mohammad Jalal, Mokbul Khan, Jalal Uddin, Mohammad Youns, Sabbir Ahamed, Rahim Uddin and Mohammad Salam were forcibly returned to Myanmar by the Indian Government. These seven men are at grave risk of being subjected to serious human rights violations by the Myanmar government, said Amnesty India today. “Today’s decision by the …

September 27, 2018 • Press Release

UN: Major step towards accountability for atrocity crimes in Myanmar

Responding to the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption of a resolution on Myanmar in Geneva today, Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director, said:

September 25, 2018 • Press Release

UN: ‘Wanted for mass murder’ posters target Myanmar’s top general

“Wanted” pictures of Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar military who oversaw atrocities against the country’s Rohingya population, were posted around New York overnight, as part of Amnesty International’s campaign for accountability in Myanmar. World leaders, including representatives from Myanmar’s government, are meeting in New York this week for the 73rdsession of the …

September 24, 2018 • Press Release

U.S. Government Must Pursue Accountability for Atrocities, Crimes Against Humanity in Myanmar

The U.S. Department of State announced today the conclusion of its investigation on the crimes committed against the Rohingya in Rakhine State. In response, Francisco Bencosme, advocacy manager for Asia-Pacific at Amnesty International USA issued this statement: “While it is important that the State Department undertook this initiative, the report failed to make a …

September 13, 2018 • Press Release

Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi in shameful defense of Reuters journalists’ conviction

Responding to comments by Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, at the World Economic Forum in Hanoi today defending the conviction of Reuters journalists Wa Lone, and Kyaw Soe Oo, Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations, said: “This is a disgraceful attempt by Aung San Suu Kyi to defend the indefensible. To say …

September 7, 2018 • Press Release

Myanmar: ICC decision opens a clear avenue for justice for the Rohingya

Following the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s ruling on Thursday that it has jurisdiction over Myanmar’s deportation of the Rohingya population to Bangladesh, a crime against humanity, Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, said:

September 3, 2018 • Press Release

Myanmar: Guilty verdict against Reuters journalists sends stark warning on press freedom

Responding to the news that Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been sentenced to seven years in jail after being found guilty of breaching Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act, Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response, said: “Today’s appalling verdict has condemned two innocent men to years behind bars. Wa Lone and …

July 9, 2018 • Press Release

Myanmar: Charging of Reuters journalists a black day for press freedom

Responding to today’s decision by a Yangon court to formally charge Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, with breaching the country’s Official Secrets Act, Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response, said: “This is a black day for press freedom in Myanmar. The court’s decision to proceed with this farcical, politically motivated case …