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#Burma / Myanmar

#Burma / Myanmar

Political reforms introduced in 2011 brought the release of more than 1000 political prisoners, including many human rights defenders. Today, many formerly imprisoned HRDs face a number of restrictions to their work and risk future persecution. Student activists were not allowed to return to study at their universities, and the Ministry of Home Affairs has refused to issue passports to former political prisoners and prominent HRDs.

The National Human Rights Commission established in 2011, but is largely criticized for being ineffective and refusing to investigate violations in ethnic minority areas. Burma's new law on freedom of assembly, falls short of international human rights standards, requiring protestors to seek permission to demonstrate five days in advance and submit their slogans for state approval. If the protesters deliver speeches which are viewed as damaging the state by “doing anything to causes fear or disturbance”, they can face criminal charges and six months imprisonment.

Threats against HRDs working on economic, social, and cultural rights have increased. HRDs supporting communities affected by the Letpadaung mining project endure repeated judicial harassment, arrest, imprisonment, and prevention of travel to the area. Additionally, violence against the stateless Rohingya in Arakan state and the Muslim population endangers Rohingya and Muslim HRDs, while community leaders staging interfaith dialogues and documenting human rights violations face arrest and charges.