Rights Groups Slammed Burma at UN Forum
9 June 2010: Human rights groups on Wednesday lambasted Burma for continued utter failure to improve its human rights practice during the session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, despite having claimed to have transitioned to democracy following national elections held in November last year
The Burma Forum – UPR, a coalition of human rights groups representing 14 Burmese rights organizations yesterday delivered oral statements at the plenary session of the Universal Periodic Review on Burma, during which final recommendations made to the country under review, were adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. Burma underwent a review of its human rights record for the past four years in late January for the first time.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition before the Council, Aung Myo Min said: “We are extremely disturbed that the situation in ethnic nationality areas continues to deteriorate.” He said that the situation has led to extrajudicial executions, state-sponsored sexual violence against women and the mass displacement of civilians.
During Burma’s review in January, the Burmese delegation flatly denied all allegations of systematic human rights abuses against civilians and dismissed them as “baseless and merely aimed at discrediting the Burmese Armed Forces.” But the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Tomas Ojea Quintana said that alleged crimes committed by the Burmese military may amount to Crimes Against Humanity and called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry.
Urging the Human Rights Council to mandate the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, Dr. Thaung Htun, another representative of BF-UPR warned that failure to independently investigate the widespread and systematic human rights violations will only allow further abuses to take place.
The Burma Forum on Universal Periodic Review consists of Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma (AAPP-B), Arakan Rivers Network (ARN), Burma Fund UN Office, Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC), Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), Emergency Act Team vs Backpack Health Worker Team, Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB), Foundation for Education and Development (FED), Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB), Human Rights Foundation of Mon Land (HURFOM), Kachin Women’s Organization Thailand (KWAT), Kaladan Press Bangladesh, Shwe Gas Movement, Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP).