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UN rights expert voices concern over worsening situation in Myanmar

[JURIST] In a statement [press release] to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website], Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Lee [UN profile] voiced her concern on Monday over the worsening human rights situation in Myanmar. During her 12-day visit at the invitation of the Myanmar government, Lee stated she witnessed government security forces use humans as shields in violent encounters and numerous deaths of detainees while in custody. Lee also voiced concern over the treatment and displacement of 100,000 to 120,000 individuals in the Kachin and Rakhine states after the violent conflict between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims erupted five years ago. According to Lee, the Myanmar government continuously attempted to limit her movements throughout the country during her visit. Lee will present the full report to the UN General Assembly in October.

Human rights violations have been on the forefront of Myanmar's new democratic government since ending a decades-old military rule. In June of last year a UN expert presented [JURIST report] a report on religious, free market, political, and nationalist or cultural fundamentalism, stating that fundamentalist intolerance is growing throughout the globe and is directly contributing to infringements of the rights to association and peaceful assembly. In November of 2016 a member of the UN High Commission for Refugees stated [JURIST report] that the violence is an attempt at "ethnic cleansing" from the government. In May Human Rights Watch urged [JURIST report] the Myanmar Parliament to reconsider a proposed law that the advocacy organization says has the potential to limit free expression and peaceful assembly.

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