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2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Burma

April 22nd, 2024  •  Author:   U.S. Department of State  •  2 minute read
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The human rights situation in Burma deteriorated during the year as the conflict between the military regime and opposition forces escalated. Deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other leading members of the deposed civilian government and the National League for Democracy party remained in detention.

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearance; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the regime; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detention; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; political prisoners or detainees; transnational repression against individuals in another country; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; punishment of family members for alleged offenses by a relative; serious abuses in a conflict, including reportedly unlawful or widespread civilian harm, enforced disappearances or abductions, torture, and physical abuses or punishment; unlawful recruitment or use of children in an armed conflict by the regime as well as some ethnic armed organizations; serious restrictions on freedom of expression and media freedom, including violence or threats of violence against journalists, unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists, censorship, and the enforcement of or threat to enforce criminal libel laws; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; restrictions on religious freedom; restrictions on freedom of movement; inability of citizens to change their government peacefully through free and fair elections; serious and unreasonable restrictions on political participation; serious government corruption; extensive gender-based violence; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of national and ethnic minority groups; trafficking in persons, including forced labor; laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults (although those laws were rarely enforced); prohibiting independent trade unions and significant restrictions on workers’ freedom of association, including violence and threats against labor activists; and some of the worst forms of child labor.

The government did not take credible steps to identify and punish officials who may have committed human rights abuses.

Some ethnic armed organizations and Peoples Defense Force groups or members committed human rights abuses, including killings, disappearances, and physical abuse and degrading treatment. This included a number of abuses of civilians in connection with the armed conflict.

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