FIDH and its member organization ALTSEAN-Burma are extremely disappointed by Myanmar’s response to its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR). While we welcome the government’s acceptance of the recommendations it received concerning the ratification of key international human rights instruments and the reform of the National Human Rights Commission, we must note that similar recommendations were made during the country’s first UPR and remain unaddressed. The review confirmed that the outgoing Myanmar government remained unwilling to address the country’s key human rights challenges.
We regret that the government refused to acknowledge ongoing discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities. In particular, the government refused to accept all 27 recommendations that made specific reference to Muslim Rohingya, including those that called for the protection of their human rights and an end to discrimination.
Despite pledging to guarantee the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to create a safe and enabling environment for civil society and human rights defenders, Myanmar did not accept recommendations that called for the amendment of the Peaceful Gathering and Demonstration Law, which the authorities continue to use to arbitrarily arrest and imprison activists and human rights defenders. The Myanmar government also refused to accept recommendations that called for the release of all political prisoners.
We note that the government also backtracked from its pledge to cooperate with UN human rights monitoring mechanisms by failing to commit to issue a standing invitation to all thematic special procedures and to open an OHCHR country office.
Finally, we regret that the government did not accept recommendations that called for a moratorium on all executions and the abolition of the death penalty.
We urge Myanmar’s new government to take significant steps to implement the crucial recommendations that the country received, including those that the outgoing administration did not accept. The new administration must urgently repeal Myanmar’s oppressive laws, eliminate discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, and hold its security forces accountable for human rights abuses, including attacks against civilians and rape and other forms of sexual violence against women.