EU should press Myanmar for further progress on human rights
(Brussels, 20 April 2012) On the eve of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, Amnesty International has urged EU ministers to call for Myanmar to respect human rights and deliver further reforms.
“Myanmar has made progress on human rights in recent months by releasing political prisoners and opening space for the opposition to participate in the political process”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “But the EU must continue to press for further reforms on key human rights challenges.”
The EU Foreign Affairs Council must, according to Amnesty International, press Myanmar to tackle pervasive impunity and bring perpetrators of human rights abuses to justice, whether through a national or international mechanism. Continuing violations against ethnic minority civilians, particularly in Kachin state, should also end.
Despite the welcome release of some 650 political prisoners in Myanmar between 17 May 2011 and 13 January this year, hundreds remain behind bars in poor conditions.
“All remaining prisoners of conscience should be released immediately and unconditionally and allowed to re-engage in the political process”, said Beger.
Amnesty International has also asked the EU to urge Myanmar to ensure the rule of law, which includes ending torture and ill-treatment, and undertaking genuine legal reform in consultation with the UN and civil society.
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