FIDH and its member organization ALTSEAN-Burma thank you for your oral update. We remain concerned over the Myanmar government’s ongoing unwillingness to address human rights violations in the country.
We are disappointed by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s repeated criticism of the international Fact-Finding Mission mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate allegations of serious human rights violations in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State. We also condemn the military’s blanket denial that government security forces committed human rights violations against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State.
We urge the government to cooperate with the Fact-Finding Mission and grant its members unfettered access to the country in order to establish facts and make recommendations towards ending impunity for widespread and systematic abuses.
We also remain concerned about the dangerous environment for human rights defenders. The recent abduction of Kantarawaddy Times reporter Maw Oo Mya and the repeated threats against Muslim human rights lawyer Robert Sann Aung follow on the heels of the killings of activist Chit Pandaing, journalist Soe Moe Tun, and Muslim lawyer Ko Ni. We reiterate our call on the authorities to conduct thorough and impartial investigations into all of these incidents, bring those responsible to justice, and implement urgent programs and pass laws to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders.
We welcome the release of almost 90 political prisoners in the 24 May presidential amnesty. However, we remain troubled by the fact that more than 120 political prisoners remain incarcerated. They must all be released immediately. There will continue to be political prisoners as long as repressive laws that are used to target activists, human rights defenders, media persons, and members of ethnic nationalities remain on the books.
We urge the government and Parliament to urgently amend or repeal legislation that is inconsistent with international human rights standards. We also call on the government to accelerate the process of ratification of key international human rights instruments.