PRESS RELEASE

 

Press Release: Continuing Tensions around Tharkayta Islamic Schools

3rd May 2017, London, UK – On April 28th two Islamic schools in the Township of Tharkayta, an eastern suburb of Yangon where approximately 50,000 Muslims live, were sealed off and closed by a group of Buddhist Ultra-Nationalists. The group was upset that the schools were being used to host prayers, which they claimed were in defiance of restrictions previously imposed by authorities against the schools. Witnesses told BHRN that the mob was as large as 150 ultra-nationalists, and The Irrawaddy reported a brawl taking place at the scene. The incident took place on a Friday, which is a holy day for prayer for Muslims. The Irrawaddy also said their reporter on the scene was threatened by the nationalists when he approached them for comment, then forced to leave the scene. The schools are located on Anawmar 11 and 12 streets.

“Authorities have failed to protect the country’s minority Muslim population and have consistently complied with the demands of Buddhist-nationalist extremist groups. The actions of the extremist groups have clearly undermined the rule of law and are part of an increasing trend of groups targeting Muslims. Due to the failure of the authorities to take action against Buddhist extremists, Muslims in Burma are vulnerable to vigilante attacks, civilian level persecution and denial of access to fundamental human rights. Worse still is that the failure by the authorities to take any action against the extremist groups will encourage them to commit further attacks,” said Executive Director Kyaw Win of BHRN.

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Press Release: Human Rights Violations by the Burmese Army Reported From Buthidaung

7th February 2017, London, United Kingdom – The Burma Human Rights Network has collected accounts from locals in Northern Rakhine State regarding recent events in Buthidaung, a majority Muslim Rohingya township in close proximity to Maungdaw -- where human rights violations were reported regularly since October of 2016. According to Rohingya sources in Northern Rakhine State, Burmese Security Forces began raids early in the morning on January 4th, which Burmese state and independent media have also confirmed. The BHRN has since heard reports of sweeping arbitrary arrests, beatings and torture of Rohingya who were detained and the reported abduction of Rohingya women by Burmese security forces.  Worryingly there are unconfirmed reports that the Security forces overtly requested women from different households to be kept as “sex slaves”. The presence of security forces has remained in place up until today with reports emerging of continued raids on Rohingya villages involving extortion and detention of Rohingya villagers.

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BHRN and 22 Organizations Call on The International Community to Pressure Myanmar to Give Full Access to UN-Mandated Fact Finding Mission

27th April 2017, London, UK – The Burma Human Rights Network and 22 Organizations and Individuals have released an open letter calling upon The United States, United Kingdom, and the member states of the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to strongly encourage the Myanmar government to fully cooperate with the forthcoming Fact-Finding Mission into the human rights situation in Rakhine State, as well as Kachin and Shan States, as recently mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The undersigned are: Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), ALTSEAN-Burma, Amnesty International, Burma Campaign UK (BCUK), Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN), Burmese Muslim Association (BMA), Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Civil Rights Defenders, International State Crime Initiative, Fortify Rights, Geutanyoe Foundation, Global Peace Mission Malaysia, Gusdurain Network Indonesia, Human Rights Now, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (MAPIM), Malaysian Humanitarian Aid and Relief (MAHAR), Refugees International, Restless Beings, The Arakan Project and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

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BHRN Praises the OIC for Meeting on Northern Rakhine and Calls for Further Action

21st January 2017: London, The United Kingdom

The Burma Human Rights Network welcomes efforts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Government of Malaysia and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who are holding an emergency meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers to address the dire situation within Burma’s Northern Rakhine State. We have taken great hope from the efforts the Prime Minister has made over the past few months and wish to convey our belief that his efforts, along with those of other ASEAN nations, have truly helped reduce the suffering of the Rohingya as pressure seems to have slowed the indiscriminate attacks of the Burmese Security Forces against the Rohingya population in Burma’s Northern Rakhine State.

The situation in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine State has rapidly deteriorated since October. A violent and disproportionate crackdown has been unleashed on the civilian population in response to attacks on three Border Guard Police posts on October 9th and a few small skirmishes

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