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Burma Update: Serious Crimes Continue

By Altsean-Burma  •  September 28, 2013

Over one year since sectarian violence broke out in Arakan State, 140,000 predominately Rohingya IDPs remain displaced. Rohingya face ongoing restrictions on freedom of movement and access to employment, health, and education.

Regime authorities continue to commit abuses against Rohingya, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest, extortion, and harassment. In June and August, regime security forces shoot and kill a total of seven Rohingya IDPs in three separate incidents. In May, regime authorities pledge to enforce a ‘two-child policy’ for Rohingya in two townships in Arakan State.

Anti-Muslim violence which broke out in Meikhtila, Mandalay Division, in March, continues for six-straight months, with attacks reported in 18 townships across three States and four Divisions. 46 people have been killed, including 44 people in Meikhtila. About 4,000 people remain displaced in Meikhtila.

Two pieces of legislation currently under parliamentary review – the Printing and Publishing Bill and the Association Bill – threaten to impose new restrictions on press freedom and freedom of association. In addition, extremist Buddhist monk U Wirathu proposes draft legislation aimed at criminalizing unauthorized marriages between Buddhist women and Muslim men.

Authorities continue to use repressive laws to arrest and prosecute activists, farmers, and human rights defenders, including women and those opposing land grabs. From June to September, the regime sentences 29 peaceful protestors to prison terms under the Peaceful Gathering and Demonstration Law. Three activists are jailed under the Unlawful Association Act, the Printers and Publishers Registration Act, and Article 505 of the Criminal Code.

The Tatmadaw’s offensive against the Kachin Independence Army has continued for over two years, with fighting reported in 16 of 18 townships in Kachin State and six townships in Northern Shan State. The regime continues to restrict aid to IDPs in Kachin Independence Army-held areas, with only three deliveries of UN aid permitted since July 2012.

The proliferation of peace agreements between Naypyidaw and ethnic armed groups fails to halt conflict. In June-July, Tatmadaw troops attack the Kachin Independence Army, the Ta-ang National Liberation Army, the Shan State Army-North, and the New Mon State Party in the north, east, and south of the country.

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This post is in: Crimes Against Humanity, Spotlight

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