PHR has been investigating human rights abuses against Burmese civilians, dissidents, minorities, and refugees since 2004, when we focused on women who fled the brutality of Burma’s military and were trafficked into Thailand’s sex trade.
Our most recent work highlights the rampant abuse against minority groups in Burma, and the government’s continued denial of healthcare and detention of medical personnel as a way to control the country.
Massacre in Burma: PHR Calls for Immediate Investigation (May 20, 2013)
PHR today released a report detailing the organized attacks against Muslims that took place in central Burma in late March and resulted in the killing of at least 20 children and four teachers. The report provides evidence that state authorities, who idly stood by watching the events unfold, are complicit in these crimes.
PHR-Led Bill to Protect Health Workers Introduced (May 16, 2013)
PHR today helped introduce a bill that would protect health workers globally from increasing attacks during times of war and unrest, and ensure they can continue to provide services without fear of violence, retribution, or arrest.
PHR calls on Burma’s government to act urgently to halt anti-Muslim incitement and to invite international investigators to launch an immediate independent investigation into a reported massacre of more than two dozen Muslim students in Meiktila on March 21.
Indian aid raises concerns in Chin State (Mizzima.com, February 28, 2013)
Concerns have been raised over financial aid provided by the Indian government for development as it will be channeled through the Ministry for Border Affairs. ... However, Andrea Gittleman, the senior legislative counsel for Washington-based Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), told Mizzima that apart from the physical problems, one of the underlying issues that needed to be addressed in Chin State is the mental health of a populace reeling from decades of abuse under military occupation.
Visit by Burmese Leader Offers Key Opportunity to Press for Human Rights Improvements (May 20, 2013)
Burmese President Thein Sein is scheduled to meet with President Obama today, marking the first visit to the United States by a Burmese head of state in 47 years. Since that visit in 1966, the people of Burma have endured governmental mismanagement, brutal military rule, and serious human rights violations. Burma became a pariah state, synonymous with its infamous imprisonment of political activists and militarized attacks on civilians.
A Dark Day for Human Rights in Burma (April 25, 2013)
On April 22, the European Union lifted all sanctions against the Burmese government except for an arms embargo. The international community’s rush to applaud the Burmese government’s nascent reforms will ultimately hamper further improvements.
Government of Bangladesh Blocking Humanitarian Aid for Rohingya (August 3, 2012)
Thai and Burmese press have reported that the Government of Bangladesh is cracking down on charitable organizations that offer assistance to Rohingya, an ethnic group that has faced endemic persecution and violence in Burma.
PHR Demands that Government of Burma Rescind Citizenship Law (July 10, 2012)
The 1982 law authorized 135 enumerated ethnic groups for citizenship, and arbitrarily stripped others of their citizenship. NGOs call for the Citizenship Law to be replaced with a law that reflects basic principles of human rights and demonstrates adherence to international treaties.
Massacre in Central Burma (May 2013)
Anti-Muslim violence swept through central Burma in spring 2013, reportedly sparked by an argument at a gold shop and the killing of a Buddhist monk in Meiktila, Mandalay. Homes, mosques, and madrassas were destroyed, and over 100 people lost their lives. This report is the result of an investigation by a PHR team, undertaken shortly after the violence occurred.
President Obama is choosing an odd time to make history as the first US president to visit Burma. Ethnic violence continues to devastate Rakhine State in western Burma, conflict rages in northern Kachin State, and military officials responsible for some of the worst violence in the country continue to thrive in a climate of impunity.
PHR Urges US to Consider Ramifications of Inviting Burmese Military to Training Exercise (October 2012)
PHR is deeply troubled by media reports that members of Burma’s military could be invited to observe an upcoming US-Thai military joint training exercise. The exercise, to be held next year, would bring together participants from the US and the Thai armed forces as well as military representatives from several other Asian nations.
Bitter Wounds and Lost Dreams (August 2012)
Even as Burma’s central government institutes political reforms, the Burmese army continues to routinely violate the human rights of ethnic minorities in Karen State, PHR reports, citing findings from a field survey conducted in early 2012.
Richard Sollom leads human rights investigations to document and expose grave emergency and emerging human rights situations globally. He oversees the design and safe and ethical conduct of PHR’s research work related to the investigation and documentation of war crimes and mass atrocities. Sollom also oversees research, investigations and advocacy on violations of medical neutrality and the systematic discrimination in the delivery or access to health care. Read More »