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UN council deplores Myanmar rights abuses

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] passed a resolution [press release] Friday condemning the military government of Myanmar [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] for ongoing systematic violations of human rights and people's fundamental freedoms. The European Union expressed particular concern over human rights violations in the country and the lack of investigations in the aftermath of last year's government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations [JURIST report]. In support of the resolution proposed by the EU, Slovenia's ambassador Andrej Logar stated:

The European Union particularly deplored the continued imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement, expression, assembly and association, the prevailing culture of impunity, ongoing summary executions, torture and forced labour practices, recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence. Enforced disappearances and the number of detainees also continued to grow. Progress on the political front could only take place if the authorities in Myanmar engaged in real dialogue with all political parties and relevant actors and ethnic groups. The release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and other fundamental steps needed to be taken for any change to be meaningful.
The resolution also called on Myanmar to make the country's process of drafting a new constitution "inclusive, participatory and transparent in order to ensure that the process is broadly representative of the views of all the people of Myanmar and meets all international norms." The council also passed a separate measure authorizing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro [official profile] for another year.

Myanmar's representative to the council, Wunna Maung Win, said that the resolution was "highly intrusive and failed to address the positive developments made by the Government." The Myanmar government has said a national referendum on the new constitution will be held in May [JURIST report], and multi-party elections are to be held in 2010. AP has more.

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