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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar

By Tomas Ojea Quintana  •  October 25, 2012

Introduction

  1. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar was established by the Commission on Human Rights in its resolution 1992/58 and extended most recently by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 19/21. The present report, submitted pursuant to Council resolution 19/21 and General Assembly resolution 66/230, covers human rights developments in Myanmar since the previous report of the Special Rapporteur to the Council in March 2012 (A/HRC/19/67) and to the Assembly in September 2011 (A/66/365).
  2. From 30 July to 4 August 2012, the Special Rapporteur conducted his sixth mission to Myanmar and met the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Home Affairs, the Minister for Border Affairs, the Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (who also holds the position of Minister of Labour), the Minister of Immigration and Population, the deputy ministers of health and education, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and other justices of the Supreme Court and members of several parliamentary committees. In addition, he met Aung San Suu Kyi, members of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission and civil society, three prisoners of conscience held in Insein prison, including a United Nations staff member, one prisoner of conscience in Insein hospital who was subsequently released and members of the United Nations country team and the diplomatic community.
  3. He visited Rakhine State, where he met state and local authorities and members of the Muslim community. He visited burned villages and observed the construction of new shelters. He and his team also visited camps for displaced persons for both Buddhist and Muslim communities in Sittwe and Maungdaw. In Buthidaung prison, he interviewed five United Nations staff members detained in connection with the events. He expresses thanks to the Government of Myanmar for its cooperation and for the access granted to Rakhine State.
  4. He also continued to engage with the Government through its ambassadors in Geneva and New York, and sent several communications during the reporting period. Those included a joint urgent appeal dated 30 December 2011 with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences and the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding the alleged abduction and rape of Sumlut Roi Ja by military personnel in Kachin State; a joint allegation letter dated 23 February 2012 with the special rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers, on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association regarding the conviction and subsequent disbarment of 32 lawyers in proceedings in violation of fair trial safeguards; a joint urgent appeal dated 7 May 2012 with the special rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers and on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health regarding the alleged violation of due process safeguards in the trial of Phyo Wai Aung and the alleged denial of access to appropriate specialized medical care; and an allegation letter dated 28 June 2012 on
    the alleged arrest and incommunicado detention of five United Nations staff members.
  5. He also visited Thailand from 6 to 8 August 2012 and met representatives of civil society, United Nations regional offices in Bangkok, the United Nationscountry team, the diplomatic community and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He expresses thanks to the Government for its cooperation. While in Thailand, he discussed, by telephone, the situation in Rakhine State with the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Surin Pitsuwan, and the representative of Thailand to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, Sriprapha Petcharamesree.
  6. The Special Rapporteur expresses thanks to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in particular in Geneva, Bangkok and New York, for assisting him in discharging his mandate.

Click here to download the full report.

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This post is in: Human Rights

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