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UN rights expert urges independent investigation into Myanmar violations

[JURIST] Yanghee Lee [official profile], the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, called [press release] Monday for an international investigation into the crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Myanmar government towards the Rohingya Muslim population. Lee said, "[t]he truth about whether all, or some, or any of these allegations are correct needs to be established. There is a need for a new set of investigations which are 'prompt, thorough, independent and impartial,' and this needs to happen soon, before the evidence is compromised." Lee proposed the Human Rights Council have an "urgent" discussion about the situation in Myanmar. She said, "[n]o stones must be left unturned. The alleged victims, as well as all the people of Myanmar deserve to know the truth."

The situation in Myanmar has continued to be one closely monitored by advocacy groups and world organizations. In February Lee called for [JURIST report] Myanmar to end persecution against the Rohingya population. Earlier that month Myanmar officials stated [JURIST report] that they would investigate alleged police crimes against Rohingya Muslims. Also in February Human Rights Watch endorsed [JURIST report] an investigation into the abuses against the Rohingya population, specifically sexual abuses against women. In January a prominent Muslim lawyer in the country was shot and killed [JURIST report] outside an airport in Myanmar, which brought condemnation from an UN expert about the human rights situation in the country. The continued abuses against this vulnerable population led the UN to send an envoy to the country last month to assess [JURIST report] the human rights situation.

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