Rights group reports human rights abuses and calls for investigation in Myanmar

Rights group reports human rights abuses and calls for investigation in Myanmar

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[JURIST] The human rights group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) [advocacy website] released a report [PHP report, text; press release] Wednesday detailing human rights abuses in Myanmar. The report revealed eight violations that fall under the purview of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] and may be classified as crimes against humanity. The report presented the first quantitative data of human rights violations in Western Myanmar. The data reveals that government and military officials in Myanmar have perpetrated human rights violations against the Chin ethnic nationality. PHR’s research suggests that the charges meet the necessary elements for the ICC to conduct an investigation. PHR Deputy Director Richard Sollom [official profile] stated:

This report reveals extraordinary levels of state and military violence against civilian populations, and many of the violations that we surveyed may constitute crimes against humanity. . .These findings demand not only attention, but action by all who are concerned with Burma’s peoples, their well-being, and Burma’s future.

PHR recommends a full investigation into alleged crimes against humanity and the creation of a judicial system that will allow for offenders to be prosecuted.

PHR’s report comes after heavy criticism of Myanmar by both international organizations and human rights groups. In December 2010, a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] expert urged [JURIST report] Myanmar’s military government to release 2,202 political prisoners. The UN official called for the release of the “prisoners of conscience,” claiming many of them suffered from health problems as a result of the harsh detention conditions. In September 2010, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] urged [JURIST report] the government of Myanmar to release all political prisoners ahead of the nation’s November elections. Prior to the country’s elections, opposition party leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was placed under house arrest. Her detention and previous exclusion from the election drew criticism from the UN and various rights groups.