Report on the Human Rights Situation in Burma (January – June, 2014)

Media Advisory:
New report by Network for Human Rights Documentation-Burma (ND-Burma) documenting on-going human rights abuses in Burma

Date: 14 August 2014

ND-Burma has published its periodic report covering the first half of 2014, focusing on 103 documented cases of human rights violations in Burma from January to June, 2014. There are many serious human rights issues highlighted in this report: torture, extra-judicial killing, illegal arrests and detentions, arbitrary taxation, property crime, forced labor, human trafficking, forced displacement and rape.

The cases documented in this report are current, and draw attention to the ongoing violation of Burmese human rights. These violations were documented in areas of armed conflict, as well as ceasefire areas. ND-Burma’s findings demonstrate that, despite progress in reaching ceasefire agreements with ethnic armed groups, the government has not made the same progress towards protecting the basic human rights of its citizens. Lway Poe Ngel, advocacy team member, states “even as government and ethnic armed groups try to negotiate a nation-wide cease-fire, thousands of people affected by the armed conflict continue to lose their homes and livelihood, increasing the large number of internally displaced people in Burma”.

Human rights advocates also still face persecution in Burma. Management Board member Salai Bawi Pi draws attention to this issue, saying, “Many human right defenders and activists have been arrested under repressive laws such as Section 18”. As an example, he drew attention to the recent case in Chin state where eight Chin activists were charged under Section 18 of ‘The Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Act’ for protesting without permission. These activists requested permission, but were refused by local authorities. Their protest was related to an incident that occurred on 10 June, when a 55 year-old woman from Rezua sub-township, in the Matupi township area of Chin State, was brutally beaten during an attempted rape by a Burma Army soldier.

Despite these challenges and restrictions inside Burma, human rights activists and human rights defenders continue their struggle to seek truth and justice. For example, the AAPP, an ND-Burma member, has worked with the NLD to host a memorial ceremony for political prisoners, including thirty-six NLD members who talked about the experience of imprisonment and interrogation in jail.

For more information, please contact:
In Thailand,
Lway Poe Ngel, Advocacy Team
Phone: +66 (0)863952087

In Myanmar/Burma,
Salai Bawi Pi, Management Board Member
Phone: +95 (0)973023139