News / Asia

Burma 'One of World's Worst' on Human Rights

Cover of the annual report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Cover of the annual report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

A U.S. government report on religious freedom says Burma's military government remains one of the world's worst human rights violators.

The annual report released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says the Burmese government has continued to repress Buddhists following a crackdown on peaceful anti-government demonstrations in 2007.

It also notes the repression of Burmese Muslims, particularly those from the Rohingya minority, whom the government does not recognize as citizens.

The Commission recommends that the United States keep sanctions against Burma in force, while also encouraging its military rulers to restore democracy.  As part of this effort, the report says the U.S. should name a Special Envoy on Burma to coordinate diplomatic efforts and to work with regional and European allies.

The United States has not had an ambassador to Burma since 1992.

The report urges the U.S. government to seek engagement with Burma to gain the release of prisoners detained or arrested for peacefully exercising their religious freedoms.  It also calls for the release of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners as well.

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