UN General Assembly resolution
must keep the spotlight on serious human rights violations
21 October 2014
New York, Paris, Bangkok, 21 October 2014 - A UN General Assembly’s
Third Committee resolution must continue to address serious
human rights violations in Burma, FIDH and its member organization
Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma) urged Permanent
Missions to the UN during a visit by an FIDH-organized to New-York.
The delegation, led by FIDH Secretary-General and ALTSEAN-Burma
Coordinator Debbie Stothard, included Burmese human rights defenders
Wai Wai Nu, Director of the Women Peace Network - Arakan, and
Zarni, Officer-in-charge of International Relations for the
Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF).
“A strong UN General Assembly resolution is
needed to prevent Burma from further backsliding on human rights,”
said FIDH President Karim Lahidji. “If the
Burmese government wants to end the UN General Assembly’s
scrutiny of the country’s human rights record, it must
stop ignoring its recommendations.”
In connection with the upcoming debate on the UN General Assembly’s
Third Committee resolution on Burma, FIDH and ALTSEAN-Burma
released a joint briefer that summarizes human rights developments
in Burma since last year’s resolution.
“Burmese authorities have failed to protect
ethnic and religious minorities from serious human rights violations
and made no significant progress with regard to key legislative
and institutional reforms. This failure has effectively blocked
any progress towards genuine democracy and national reconciliation,”
said Debbie Stothard.
Over the past year, Burma’s military has continued attacks
against civilians in Kachin and Shan States amid nationwide
ceasefire negotiations. The human rights and humanitarian situation
in Arakan State has deteriorated.
At least 137,000 people, mostly Rohingya, remain confined to
squalid IDP camps following the 2012 communal unrest. In late
March-early April, Naypyidaw excluded Rohingya from its first
nationwide census in more than 30 years. In early October, it
emerged that the government planned to detain Rohingya in permanent
camps unless they agreed to identify themselves as ‘Bengali’
as part of an ongoing ‘citizenship assessment’ process.
In 2014, authorities arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned scores
of activists and human rights defenders. Approximately 80 political
prisoners remain behind bars and more than 100 activists await
trials on various charges. The country has witnessed a resurgence
of media repression with the arrest and imprisonment of at least
14 media professionals under oppressive and outdated laws.
The government has also failed to adequately address decades
of land confiscation by civilian and military authorities. Those
protesting land confiscation and large-scale development projects
were frequently arrested or imprisoned. In 2014, at least 120
farmers were jailed for peaceful protests, mostly related to