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Revisiting Human Rights in Myanmar

By Amnesty International  •  May 25, 2012

On 23 May 2012, Amnesty International concluded its first official visit to Myanmar since 2003. During two missions that year, we spent the vast majority of our time either being escorted to and from meetings with government officials, or privately interviewing 35 political prisoners in Insein, Bago, and Moulmein prisons, where we actually felt most free. For fear of putting civil society at risk, we did not request to speak with those actors, while outreach to ethnic minority representatives was similarly cautious.

In contrast, our recent two-week mission to Yangon and Naypyidaw consisted of a very diverse collection of 49 meetings, the majority of which, though confidential, were held in public places. Unfortunately, time did not permit us to travel to an ethnic minority state. We appreciated the opportunity to speak with government officials; political parties and their Members of Parliament; members of the diplomatic community; lawyers and other civil society actors; ethnic minority activists; former political prisoners as well as the families of current political prisoners; and a representative of the National Human Rights Commission.

Amidst a myriad of changes taking place in Myanmar, dating back to the late 2010 national elections, these meetings afforded Amnesty a preliminary opportunity to assess Myanmar’s current human rights situation. What has improved since the new government came into power a little more than a year ago? What human rights violations have persisted or even worsened? And what new human rights challenges have the country’s recent reform efforts engendered or brought to the fore? In addition to general impressions, we consider these questions under five broad and sometimes overlapping headings most relevant to Amnesty’s work on Myanmar over the last 25 years.

Download the full report here.

Read more from Amnesty International in their Annual Report section on Burma here.

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This post is in: Crimes Against Humanity, Human Rights, Spotlight

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