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UN council criticizes Myanmar rights abuses

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] passed a motion Tuesday criticizing Myanmar for its recent crackdown on peaceful protests in the country. The motion came on the same day that Myanmar arrested at least eight truckloads of people [Reuters report] in Rangooon during a middle of the night roundup. The UN rights council motion calls for the immediate release of such prisoners, as well as all others arrested for their involvement in peaceful protests. According to the Council's statement [text]:

The Council also urged the Government of Myanmar to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, to end impunity and to investigate and bring to justice perpetrators of human rights violations. It urged the Government to release without delay those arrested and detained as a result of the recent repression of peaceful protests, as well as to release all political detainees in Myanmar, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The Council further urged Myanmar to engage urgently in a national dialogue with all parties with a view to achieving genuine national reconciliation, democratization and the establishment of the rule of law.
Japan has also condemned Myanmar's actions, with Tokyo police officials saying Wednesday that Japan will attempt to prosecute Myanmar troops [ABC Australia report] for the killing of a Japanese journalist during protests in September.

A UN special envoy to Myanmar met with opposition leader and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi [JURIST news archive] and with top Myanmar military leader Senior General Than Shwe [BBC profile] during separate meetings Tuesday to discuss the rising political crisis in Myanmar. The Myanmar government began a crackdown against protesters [JURIST report] last week, arresting hundreds of Buddhist monks demonstrating against human rights abuses by the military government. Government authorities have also raided several Buddhist monasteries, detaining monks [JURIST report] the junta believed to be leading the demonstrations. At least 10 people have been killed by government soldiers shooting into crowds; protests subsided over the weekend as troops effectively locked down Myanmar's major cities. While the junta government reports only 10 deaths, dissident groups claim that 200 people have been executed and 6,000 detained. Recent reports by the UK Daily Mail indicate that the executions of protesters in fact number in the thousands [CBC report], and that security forces have been ordered to carry out the massacre of monks in Myanmar. AFP has more. The UN News Service has additional coverage.

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