In the last two weeks the international press has applauded the Burmese government as it made some important steps toward democracy. In early October the government halted construction on a dam project on the Irrawaddy River, saying “it was against the will of the people.” This week, the government freed 206 political prisoners.
In the aftermath of the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s Libyan regime, potential evidence of past human rights violations has surfaced. However, even as Libyans navigate the challenges of building a new government, they must also address how to identify and preserve evidence of past crimes.
The Chief Minister of Western Burma’s Chin State is forcing citizens to work for no pay, according to a recent press release by the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO).
Nay Myo Zin was sentenced to ten years in prison by a Burmese court last week. His wife reported that he was arrested because Burmese secret police had found an email in his inbox that discussed national reconciliation.
Recently the Obama Administration unveiled landmark legislation which has the potential to strengthen how the US deals with the prevention of mass atrocities and serious human rights violations. The inter-agency Atrocities Prevention Board (PSD-10) aims to close existing gaps in US law and provide new economic, diplomatic, and political deterrents to ensure that the US responds swiftly and unequivocally to all manner of human rights violators.