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UN rights body condemns Myanmar for violations, extends investigation

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] on Friday passed a resolution condemning Myanmar for human rights violations [press release] and calling on the military junta to desist from politically motivated arrests and release nearly 2,100 political prisoners, which include Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The resolution was condemned by countries in Asia and Russia as ineffective and unnecessary due to improved conditions for human rights. Under the resolution, the council reappointed Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana for one year to continue monitoring the human rights situation in the country.

Last week, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [official website] said [press release and opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi violates Myanmar's 1975 State Protection Law [text] and pressed for her immediate release. In February, the military government of Myanmar granted amnesty to 23 political detainees and more than 6,300 other prisoners, said Thailand-based human rights group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) [advocacy website]. These grants were in response to increasing international pressure on the military junta to end its persecution of political dissidents. In January, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] sent an open letter [text, PDF; JURIST report] to the government, urging it to cease targeting its Rohingya Muslim minority [BBC profile]. In December, the UN General Assembly [official website] adopted a resolution [press release; JURIST report] denouncing the nation's alleged human rights violations. In June, the UNHRC criticized the government of Myanmar [JURIST report] for its continued human rights abuses and refusal to cooperate with humanitarian groups.

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