The Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay confirmed to Parliament today that the UK government will advocate the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma at the Human Rights Council in February and March.
Writing for the Democratic Voice of Burma, Burma Campaign UK’s Campaigns Officer Wai Hnin Pwint Thon asks why Lahpai Gam and other political prisoners remain in jail. Wai Hnin calls for a reformed, credible and independent Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee to achieve the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Burma.
Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK, interviewed for a Middle East Eye analysis of the plight of the Rohingya, said “Burma’s so-called transition to democracy has been a transition to a new form of military control with a civilian face.”
Zoya Phan, Burma Campaign UK’s campaigns manager, has been refused a visa to attend the unveiling of a statue of her father Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan on the ninth anniversary of the Karen leader’s murder.
Now the British government is considering whether or not to back a UN inquiry into the Rohingya crisis. Such an investigation could help reduce human rights violations and set out a roadmap for ensuring human rights for the Rohingya.
Ask your MP to sign a new motion in Parliament calling on the British government to back a UN Inquiry into the Rohingya crisis. We need the British government to back a UN Inquiry and propose it at the Human Rights Council.
Mass gang-rape, killings – including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by Myanmar’s security forces in a sealed-off area north of Maungdaw in northern Rakhine State have been detailed in a new UN report.
In answer to a question by Tom Brake MP, the Defence Minister Mike Penning said “There is currently no specific programme module within this training which focuses on the issue of human rights”.
The Daily Mail reports that millions of pounds of Britain’s aid has been spent on training foreign soldiers – including the Burmese army that is accused of killing and raping its own people.
Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tom Brake MP told the Daily Mail: ‘The Burmese army are amongst the worst human rights abusers in the world. Why on earth is our aid cash being used in aid of their repression?’
Vatican Radio reports that human rights groups have accused Burma’s government of trying to cover up abuses against Rohingya civilians in Rakhine State.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, the Executive Director of the Burma Campaign UK, Anna Roberts said, “the fact that this [the Burmese government’s own] commission has no independence or credibility just underlines the need for an independent investigation, one that should be led by the UN.”