The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, is visiting Burma this week to assess the country’s recent changes and to determine if the changes are leading to a realization of the citizens’ human rights.
Despite the Burmese government's official denial that it holds political prisoners, many Burmese activists remain imprisoned for their perceived or real involvement in resisting the junta government. While in jail, these prisoners have faced myriad human rights violations including torture and deprivation of healthcare.
In Burmese prisons, access to healthcare remains rare, and political prisoners in particular suffer from inadequate treatment and unhealthy conditions.
PHR welcomes the recent release of two Backpack Health Worker medics who were abducted by the Burma Army in Karen State, Burma in October of last year. The Backpack Health Worker Team is a community-based organization that provides medical care to civilians in war-torn Karen State.
This December marks the 10-year anniversary of the “Convoy of Death.” During Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, 2,000 prisoners who had surrendered to the US and the Afghan Northern Alliance were shot or suffocated to death in sealed truck containers while being transferred by Northern Alliance forces. The dead prisoners – some of who had been tortured - were then buried in a mass grave in a northern Afghanistan desert at Dasht-e-Leili.