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Human Rights Watch urges UN pressur
- Subject: Human Rights Watch urges UN pressur
- From: tinkyi@xxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 21:23:00
Subject: Human Rights Watch urges UN pressure on Myanmar
Human Rights Watch urges UN pressure on Myanmar
Tue 10 Nov 98 - 15:32 GMT
WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (AFP) - As UN delegates begin their annual study of human
rights in Myanmar, a leading human rights group is urging pressure on the
junta to free dissidents and lift curbs on civil liberties.
"After three months of escalating tensions and constant security pressures,
the human rights situation remains grim and the political situation remains
deadlocked," Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
The New York-based organization called for UN member states to urge the
ruling State Peace and Development Council to "immediately and
unconditionally" free its critics and ease restrictions on freedom of
expression, association, and assembly.
Human Rights Watch cited the arrest since August of more than 200 members of
the opposition National League for Democracy and hundreds of others
suspected of backing the party.
"While over 100 have been released, 544 NLD members were still in detention
as of early November by the government's own count," Human Rights Watch
As it now does annually, the UN human rights committee this week took up a
resolution condemning human rights violations in Myanmar, formerly Burma.
The UN General Assembly was expected to approve the measure again.
Earlier Tuesday, Myanmar's government reacted angrily to last month's human
rights report to the United Nations by special rapporteur Rajsoomer Lallah,
calling it insulting and highly biased.
"To flippantly imply that the Myanmar armed forces is committing human
rights violations as a matter of policy is an affront which will not be
tolerated by the Myanmar people, for it constitutes an insult to the whole
nation," Myanmar's UN envoy Pe Thein Tin said.
Lallah's report spoke of routine and widespread human rights abuses under
Myanmar's military government, including the use of forced labour, summary
executions, rape, and torture.
The rapporteur voiced serious concern about the "virtual blockade" of
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her compound, "about her continued
vilification and the inability of her party to organize normal political
meetings and functions."
Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for
Democracy party to a landslide victory in 1990 elections but the junta has
refused to recognise the result.
Hundreds of the junta's critics have been detained since Aung San Suu Kyi
demanded in August that the junta convene the parliament elected in 1990.
Military leaders have run Myanmar since 1962.