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UN Envoy: Myanmar Camps for Muslims 'Deplorable'

  • VOA News

Myanmar Muslims, who identify themselves as long-persecuted “Rohingya” Muslims, sit on the ground at Da Paing camp for Muslim refugees in north of Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, April 2, 2014.

Myanmar Muslims, who identify themselves as long-persecuted “Rohingya” Muslims, sit on the ground at Da Paing camp for Muslim refugees in north of Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, April 2, 2014.

The United Nations' new human rights envoy to Myanmar, also known as Burma, says camps housing tens of thousands of homeless Muslims are "deplorable."

Yanghee Lee spoke to reporters in Yangon Saturday at the end of her first official 10-day visit to the country.

She said many Muslims living in camps for the dispossessed do not have access to basic services.

Lee said she has gotten disturbing reports of people dying because of a lack of emergency medical care and treatment for preventable diseases.

She said Mynamar's Muslims continue to face discrimination, including restrictions on food, water, schools, and where they can live

Lee warns that Myanmar may be backtracking from the recent improvements in human rights and political freedom. Gone unchecked, she said it could undermine the country's efforts to become a responsible member of the world community.

The sometimes deadly violence between Mynamar's Buddhist majority and Muslim minority has forced about 140,000 Muslims out of their homes and into the camps.

Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters.

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