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NGOs’ Open Letter to Barack Obama regarding Sanctions on Burma

By 44 Worldwide Organizations  •  September 12, 2016

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our concern regarding the recent report by  Human Rights Watch that reveals that the U.S. government “plans to announce the lifting of key  sanctions during Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Washington, DC,” beginning on  September 13.1 Despite the marked democratic progress and peacebuilding activities that have  taken place in Burma since last November’s election—which we applaud—there remain a  number of pressing issues threatening the stability of the country and its most vulnerable  people. These issues are deeply concerning as they include the severest of human rights  abuses, and progress on these dire matters should be required to lift further sanctions.

In February 2016, UNHCR recorded 1.53 million people of concern in Burma, approximately  120,000 of whom are persecuted Muslim Rohingya people living in squalid camps since they  were displaced by violence in 2012.2 Another million Rohingya continue to be persecuted  throughout the country with heavily restricted rights, including on their freedom of movement,  ability to marry and have children, and access to medicine. This group is particularly vulnerable  as the government of Burma fails to recognize them as citizens, rendering them stateless. While  the appointment of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by Kofi Annan, is welcome,  there must be demonstrated progress well before the Commission releases its report a year  from now. As the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and others have warned, the Rohingya  remain at a high risk of genocide.

 

Download full Open letter here.

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This post is in: ASEAN, Business and Human Rights, Displacement, Economy, Environmental and Economic Justice, Health, Human Rights, International Relations, Law, Military Regime, Political Prisoners

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