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Human Rights Defenders: Study Urges Reform In Judicial System

Originally appeared in mitv NEWS

August 27, 2015

The Burma Partnership (BP) and the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) launched a report Thursday focused on the situation of human rights defenders in Myanmar and appropriate protection mechanisms.

The report “How to Defend the Defenders?” is based on the rights of land, labor, LGBT, women, and ethnics. It consist interviews of 75 people from various human rights groups, and suggests urgent reforms in legislative and judiciary sectors for the safety of human rights advocates.

MEMBER, ASSISTANCE ASSOCIATION FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS, ZAW MOE: We want the public to realize the difficulties of the defenders. We also want to advocate the government to make some reforms for the improvement of human rights in Myanmar and we want some cooperation from the international organizations in this process.

A staggering 98% of the interviewees in the report said they don’t trust the judiciary of the government and added completely changing the judicial mechanism will make human rights defenders in Myanmar safe.

In addition, 45% of women defenders have been sexually abused, the report cited.

Some faced physical and mental intimidation and discrimination, not only by those who oppose human rights defenders, but also some community members.

SECOND IN-CHARGE, 88 GENERATION PEACE & OPEN SOCIETY, THET THET AUNG: Political prisoners like me faced many challenges in the environment and even in my family.  This is because of the mindset of the people and discrimination in the society. This report would change people’s mindset on human rights defenders and would know the difficulties and challenges that were faced by the defenders.

The findings of the report are from the data of human rights groups and field studies across the country. The 71-page report took over two years in research, which began in 2013.

View the original post here: http://www.myanmarinternational.tv/news/human-rights-defenders-study-urges-reform-judicial-system

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