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Crimes Against Humanity in Burma

In 2010, Physicians for Human Rights investigated alleged human rights violations against the people of Chin State. Our research revealed extraordinary levels of state and military violence against civilian populations. The 2011 report, Life Under the Junta: Evidence of Crimes Against Humanity in Burma’s Chin State, provides the first quantitative data of these human rights violations. Our report also reveals that at least eight of the violations surveyed fall within the purview of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Our research revealed widespread reports of human rights violations among 621 randomly selected Chin households during the 12 months prior to interviews. The abuses included forced labor, religious persecution, beatings, killing, disappearances, torture, rape and widespread pillaging.

In September 2011, PHR also conducted an investigation in Burma’s Kachin State in response to reports of grave human rights violations in the region. PHR found that between June and September 2011, the Burmese army looted food from civilians, fired indiscriminately into villages, threatened villages with attacks, and used civilians as porters and human minesweepers. Our report, Under Siege in Kachin State, Burma, details these findings and the status of Kachin IDP camps.

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Latest Wave of Killings and Arrests in Burma Must be Investigated (January 23, 2014)

PHR has expressed concern over reports of mass killings and arrests of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, and called on the Burmese authorities to urgently investigate the incidents and hold all those responsible accountable for these crimes.

On Human Rights Day, PHR Highlights Priorities for the Administration (December 10, 2013)

On Human Rights Day, PHR highlighted the need for the U.S. government to address several pressing issues in order to protect fundamental freedoms and promote the United States’ position as a beacon for human rights.

Resolution to End Persecution of the Rohingya in Burma Introduced (November 19, 2013)

PHR welcomed the introduction of a resolution that aims to end discrimination against the Rohingya, a minority group in Burma (officially the Union of Myanmar) that is one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic groups.

PHR’s Dr. Holly Atkinson to Discuss Persecution of Rohingya and Anti-Muslim Violence in Burma on Monday (October 29, 2013)

Dr. Holly Atkinson, volunteer medical advisor and past president of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), will speak Monday at a panel event, “Our Walls Bear Witness: The Plight of Burma’s Rohingya.”

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Burma’s Policy of Religious Persecution Continues Unabated (May 1, 2014)

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has released its 2014 Annual Report, which highlights state-sponsored violations of religious freedom around the world. To note most severe cases, the report designates eight nations as Countries of Particular Concern, and – for the fifteenth year in a row – Burma is part of this notorious group.

Killing Without Weapons (April 25, 2014)

Last week, Radio Dabanga, an independent radio station in Darfur, reported the expulsion of Merlin, a British humanitarian organization working in Sudan.

Health Crisis in Rakhine State (March 2, 2014)

While the news that Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) will be allowed to continue their work in most of Burma is certainly welcome, the decision by the Burmese government to shut down the MSF’s operations in Rakhine state continues a trend of denying rights to the Muslim population who lives there.

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht: Lessons for Early Atrocity Prevention in Burma (November 9, 2013)

November 9, 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or “crystal night.” On this day in 1938, Nazis in Germany staged state-sanctioned, anti-Jewish riots that demolished windows of Jewish shops & burned down synagogues, hospitals, & cultural institutions.

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Patterns of Anti-Muslim Violence in Burma (August 2013)

In this report, PHR documents how persecution of and violence against the Rohingya in Burma has spread to other Muslim communities throughout the country. PHR conducted eight separate investigations in Burma and the surrounding region between 2004 and 2013.

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.

Obama’s Trip to Burma an Opportunity to Press for Substantial Reforms (November 2012)

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.

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Featured Report

Life Under the Junta

In 2010, Physicians for Human Rights investigated alleged human rights violations in Burma’s Chin State. Our report reveals extraordinary levels of state and military violence against civilian populations. Read More »