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Rights group steps up criticism on Myanmar
New parliament is a complete sham, says Christian Solidarity WorldwidePeople outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok protesting the Myanmar militaryâ€™s violent suppression of basic rights (File photo)
- Mike MacLachlan, London
- United Kingdom
- February 2, 2011
The UN Human Rights Council met in Geneva on Jan. 25 to hear Myanmar representatives defend the countryâ€™s human rights record as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which involves a review of the human rights record of all UN members once every four years.
During the three-hour meeting, the regime came under fire from the Maldives permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Iruthisham Adam, who called for substantial and transparent reforms.
These included ratifying key UN human rights treaties such as the convention against torture, establishing dialogue with the opposition to bring about democratic change, renewing an agreement on prison visits with the International Red Cross and freely cooperating with UN human rights special rapporteurs.
She told Myanmar officials that the recent general election was neither free nor fair and predicted that the governmentâ€™s seven-step â€śroad map for democracyâ€ť would fail unless it was conducted in an â€śopen, transparent and inclusive manner.â€ť
CSWâ€™s East Asia team leader, Benedict Rogers, reinforced this criticism yesterday. He told ucanews.com: â€śThe new parliament is a complete sham, a rubber-stamp body for the military regime which continues to hold real power.
â€śIt was elected in sham elections, based on a flawed constitution that guarantees military power and provides the army with immunity from prosecution from its crimes.
â€śThe UPR is the latest in a series of international statements â€¦ highlighting the litany of gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the regime. The time has come for the UN to take a proactive role in trying to facilitate a dialogue between the regime, the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi and the ethnic nationalities.â€ť
Pressure mounts on Myanmar as polls near