Human Rights

Human Rights Watch report release and press conference: Untold Miseries: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State

Burma's promises of fast paced political, economic and social reforms have seized international attention in recent months, especially ahead of planned by-elections on April 1 to be contested by Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD). Talks of ceasefires to end Burma's long-running civil war have also generated optimism. When Burmese President Thein Sein took office in March 2011, he said that over 60 years of armed conflict have put Burma's ethnic populations through "the hell of untold miseries." Soon thereafter, the 17 year old ceasefire with the non-state Kachin Independence Army (KIA) broke down, and intense fighting resumed between the Kachin and the Burmese army.

A new report by Human Rights Watch, Untold Miseries: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State documents human rights violations during this nine-month conflict, which has led to over 75,000 civilians being displaced inside Burma and along the border with China. The Burmese army has threatened, killed, and tortured civilians, raped women, used anti-personnel mines, and conscripted forced labor on the front lines, including children as young as 14-years-old, and has largely blocked international relief efforts to the majority of displaced people in the conflict zone. The KIA has also been involved in abuses, including using child soldiers and antipersonnel landmines. The ongoing conflict in Kachin state continues to loom large as a question mark about the long-term intentions of the Burma Army and the government in Naypidaw.

Human Rights Watch will be holding at a press conference to present the findings of the report, and answer questions, starting at 10:30 a.m. on March 20, at the FCCT.

Presenting the report will be:

For more information, please contact Phil Robertson at +66-85-060-8406 or email: RobertP@hrw.org

Source and Email from: aseancats@googlegroups.com

By: Phil Robertson, Deputy Director, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch Matthew F. Smith, Consultant, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
When: 7/2/2014

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