Myanmar signed ASEAN charter despite criticism of rights record

On July 21, 2008, Myanmar signed on to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) charter, despite other ASEAN members' criticism of the country's human rights record and continued detention of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The charter was designed to create stronger economic and security ties within the region, and Article 14 established a body to monitor human rights in member countries. Myanmar's inclusion in the charter has long been controversial because of its human rights record, and critics have said that even the rights panel will not have authority to issue sanctions against member states found to have violated human rights. ASEAN was founded in 1967.

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