The Myanmar government has repeatedly violated basic civil and political rights, and failed to hold the country’s security forces accountable for atrocities against ethnic minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.
The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party overwhelmingly won the November 8, 2020, election, which was marred by serious problems. Prior to the vote the government prosecuted its critics, censored opposition party messages, and did not provide equal access to state media. Systemic problems include the continued ethnic Rohingya disenfranchisement, the 25 percent of assembly seats reserved for the military, and the lack of an independent and transparent Union Election Commission. The commission cancelled voting in 57 primarily ethnic minority townships for security reasons, but provided little or no consultation or explanation to affected political parties and candidates.
“Aung San Suu Kyi and the ruling National League for Democracy have turned their backs on human rights concerns since taking power, betraying promises to Myanmar’s people to revoke repressive laws and break with abusive past practices,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “By winning a significant parliamentary majority, the NLD has an opportunity to introduce rights-respecting reforms that would protect everyone.”
In the 761-page World Report 2021, its 31st edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth argues that the incoming United States administration should embed respect for human rights in its domestic and foreign policy in a way that is more likely to survive future US administrations that might be less committed to human rights. Roth emphasizes that even as the Trump administration mostly abandoned the protection of human rights, other governments stepped forward to champion rights. The Biden administration should seek to join, not supplant, this new collective effort.
Jan 19, 2021COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Four UNICEF schools for Rohingya children in refugee camps in Bangladesh have been destroyed in a fire, officials said on Tuesday (Jan 19), with the UN children’s agency calling it arson. It was unclear who might attack the schools, which were empty at the time, but the security situation in the camps […]
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