2010-11-06 13:27:23

UN condemns Burma's human rights record ahead of 'sham' election

(November 06, 2010) A draft United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Myanmar's (Burma’s) human rights record was made public Friday, just three days before Burma’s 'sham' elections take place. The draft resolution, tabled by the European Union and co-sponsored by 42 countries, demands that the regime release all political prisoners and engages in a “genuine dialogue” with the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and ethnic nationalities. It also calls for an end to displacement of ethnic civilians and the recruitment and use of child soldiers, as well as immediate action to grant citizenship to the Rohingya Muslim people, a minority currently denied citizenship despite living in Burma for generations. While falling short of calling for the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry, the resolution paves the way for such an initiative. It expresses “grave concern” at the continuing human rights violations, including rape, torture and arbitrary detentions, and urges the Burmese regime to hold “without further delay a full, transparent, effective, impartial and independent investigation into all reports of human rights violations, and to bring to justice those responsible in order to end impunity” as a matter of priority. Burma will hold its first elections in 20 years this Sunday 7 November, but the flawed electoral process has been denounced by the international community, including the United Kingdom, as a sham. Christian Solidarity World-wide’s East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution, but urged the international community to go further and establish a formal Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity in Burma.

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