This past October, PHR’s Deputy Director Susannah Sirkin and I had the opportunity to sit in on an appeals hearing in Kaléhé, a small village in South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for a case concerning abduction, mass rape, sexual enslavement, and murder.
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.