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UN rights expert condemns murder of Muslim lawyer in Myanmar

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee [official profile] on Monday strongly condemned the murder of Muslim lawyer Ko Ni, who was shot to death on Sunday outside of an airport in Myanmar. In a press release Lee said [text] "I am shocked to the core by the senseless killing of a highly respected and knowledgeable individual, whom I have met during all of my visits to the country." The lawyer, who worked as the legal adviser to the National League for Democracy [advocacy website], was shot while holding his grandchild. Lee called on the Myanmar government to condemn the killing and thoroughly investigate. A suspect has been taken into custody [BBC report], but no motive has been determined.

Reports of human rights violations in Myanmar has prompted international concern. In November a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern [JURIST report] about possible crimes against humanity committed against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority. The Myanmar military's "campaign of violence" against Rohingya people constitutes crimes against humanity [JURIST report], according to an Amnesty International (AI) report in December. The UN announced [JURIST report] in early January that Lee would travel to the country to assess the human rights situation following concerns over the safety of refugees in Kachin State and reports of increased violence in Rakhine State. Last Lee voiced concern [JURIST report] that the people of Myanmar who met with her might face retaliation.

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